At the time of this writing, there are no less than three major platforms for tablets competing for market share. The public can choose between the ubiquitous iPad, any number of Android-based devices, or the lesser-known Blackberry tablet. Last week, Microsoft took the wraps off of their highly-anticipated Windows tablet. This device is due in the 4th quarter of 2012.
Let the warring begin.
Barely three years ago, hardly anyone thought of a computer running without a keyboard and one being held in a hand. Now, the devices account for most of the growth in the personal technology arena. (This article is being written on an Android tablet, which was reviewed in April.) From the initial iPhone to the early Windows and Android devices, the market has blossomed into one containing the above-mentioned devices along with many upstarts. Even the corporate arena is warming to the idea. Corporate uptake of both company supplied and BYOD tablets is increasing. A recent study showed tablet increases in the corporate world. Of course, the Apple-built iPad leads the pack, followed by Android and the Blackberry.
All tablet devices currently available enable one to consume copious amounts of free time playing games, videos, and online access to Facebook or Twitter. However, many may wonder what else is there to do.
With cloud storage (http://www.perfectreign.com/2012/06/cloud-computing/) we find work can also get done. So far, the leader in both market and mind share is the iPad. Android and Blackberry tablets are simply not showing up in the hands of knowledge workers in the same volume – yet. Time will tell if Blackberry even survives, but it appears that Android-based tablets are seeing increases. Overall the market for tablets is expected to increase by as much as 150% over the previous year. The iPad has a reputation for security and stability. Microsoft knows this well, and we can expect the forthcoming Surface tablets to be loaded with secure access to Exchange services as well as their new cloud-based office productivity suite, Office 365. In fact, Microsoft is betting the proverbial farm that the Post-PC era will belong to the Surface. This may be the case, as many business types will see a familar interface as well as tools they’ve been using for years.
So, the question remains – who will be the leader? At the moment, the iPad seems to retain the dominant force. However, we see that Blackberry, Android and eventually Microsoft will be picking up steam. In any event, it is interesting that the dominant age of the PC is going away for now.