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Handhelds Portables

2011, Year of the Tablet? 324

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the doesn't-fit-in-the-palm-of-your-hand dept.
frontwave writes "After the huge success of the iPad, with over 4 million units sold since its introduction, all major hardware vendors of PCs and mobile devices are coming out with new tablets in the next few months, including Apple with a smaller version of the popular product. Analysts estimate the market for tablet devices (over 6" screen size) to be around 25 million units for 2011."
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2011, Year of the Tablet?

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  • Rumor! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @12:51PM (#33664692)
    Apple is coming out with a easy to swallow capsule.
  • by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @12:57PM (#33664810) Journal

    I'm not saying it's not going to sell. I'm saying I'm waiting for the breathless superlatives to die down.

  • by Moridineas (213502) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @12:58PM (#33664842) Journal

    Tablets are going to be popular and then they'll be gone like Betamax.

    Why do you believe that?

  • by matty619 (630957) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:01PM (#33664880)

    I don't think its going away. I think in a couple years, the current ipad will look like a cruel joke, but the form factor will most definitely thrive, and schools will probably be the deciding factor on winners and losers. Make a tablet cheap enough to loose, rugged enough to survive a year in the hands of a 4th grader, and open enough to to become everything to everyone, and it will become ubiquitous.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:02PM (#33664888)

    That's mostly because they stopped selling the good ones. The attraction went away when they got bug (11+ inches), and stopped using solid state storage. At that point they were just cheap underpowered laptops.

    And also the netbook has now been done. We don't hear much about how amazing laptops are here on /. either, do we?

    But I think they still sell a few of those.

  • by poetmatt (793785) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:03PM (#33664908) Journal

    things get a rush of hype, and then it dies down. It doesn't mean the product loses relevance, it means it doesn't keep getting pushed for hype by advertisers.

    You don't think this hype actually comes from the public, do you?

    No, it comes from advertisers and publishers, driven by the seller of said product. Consumers just carry the hype.

    Netbooks are still around, but yes, you don't hear about em as being hyped so much. In a couple years? Same with tablet.

  • Year of the X (Score:3, Insightful)

    by koterica (981373) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:08PM (#33664974) Journal
    Can 2012 be the year of the not-saying-"the year of the ___"-anymore? Please?
  • by bhartman34 (886109) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:14PM (#33665092)
    The fact that 4 million people bought one doesn't mean it's not a toy. It just means that 4 million people bought a toy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:16PM (#33665112)

    "Tablets are going to be popular and then they'll be gone like Betamax."

    Why do you believe that?

    Because like most people on Slashdot, he mindlessly rejects that people are getting value out of a product that he has decided he hates because he can't install Linux or Apache on it. Every time someone says iPad, at least 500 Slashdot users blow a gasket and start ranting about how the machine is useless to them and therefore there is nobody in the world who is correct about it being a good purchase. Heaven forbid that some of us like the app store and don't give a shit about the lack of flash on the device.

    Those of us who bought them and make regular use of them will continue to happily use them. Mine could in no way replace my work laptop, but it wasn't bought to do the same things as I do on my laptop. In fact, it was bought to do all sorts of things that I don't do with my laptop, and as far away from a desk as I can manage. In fact, sitting in a recliner or on a sofa is one of the most common ways I use my iPad. Sitting in an airplane seat is another place I'd rather have an iPad.

  • by e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:20PM (#33665202)
    And if you actually make it really tiny, you could call it the iPad Shuffle
  • No, Apple is not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:22PM (#33665242)

    I know some people have tried to spread the RUMOR that Apple is making a 7" tablet, but I just don't see it happing. Size is too weird being in-beteen the current iPad and the Touch.

    Frankly to me a 7" tablet makes no sense. Part of what makes the iPad really nice to read or browse is the size. What makes the iPod Touch and iPhone so nice is portability.

    A 7" tablet is what you make when you get engineers driving specs: "Well how can we make it priced around the iPad with quality parts", or "How to we make it light enough to hold for a long time". Rather than thinking about how easy the final result is to use they optimize for cost or weight without thinking how it will really effect people using the device.

    The iPad optimized for readability and features, the Kindle optimized (very well) for long term use and dedication to reading. The smaller tablets coming out (including the Samsung), I just don't know how they will fare.

    If anyone will succeed at all it would be Samsung, they are the ones to watch for sure.

  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:30PM (#33665364) Homepage Journal

    I think that the tablet is basically just a specialized form of smartphone. These gadgets have been predicted [ibiblio.org] to replace the personal computer, and things are moving in that direction with smartphone GPUs [techradar.com], wireless graphics [techworld.com], etc.

    The writing's on the wall: laptops and PCs will be replaced by smartphones (and tablets) as everyday computing devices for most of the public.

  • Re:Heh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheKidWho (705796) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:33PM (#33665410)

    Apparently you don't seem to understand what a phone call is.

    të largohen nga ky vend

  • Re:Heh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BlueKitties (1541613) <bluekitties616@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:45PM (#33665616)
    Calling the iPod a smaller version of the iPad is like calling a flip phone a small netbook, or calling a Nook a small TV. Try actually spending time with a device before making comparisons. They are similar in many ways, but the usability difference is a sharp contrast.
  • by rsborg (111459) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:48PM (#33665678) Homepage
    If Android is going to really "flood the market" with tablets, it better revise it's decision to require a carrier contract to allow Market access. What use is a tablet that doesn't have the biggest storefront available for that OS? There's no way they're going to compete with Apple on price if they require contracts... I already have a contract for my smartphone, I can't afford a 2nd one just for data on a non-primary device.
  • by hellfire (86129) <deviladv AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @01:53PM (#33665760) Homepage

    A traditional laptop basically requires you to unfold the setup, and sometimes plug in peripherals depending on if you like trackpoints or trackpads or neither (I personally hate both, traditional mice for me). An iPad requires you to hit the screen power button and viola, it's on and everything is there you need. I'm directly interacting with the electronic book page or web page. The motions feel nature and are easy to learn.

    Also an iPad is more about getting information and content out, not putting information in. Touch screens work fine for writing short specific messages. Keyboards will be better input devices until touchscreens become as accurate and fast as keyboards, and some people even buy keyboards for their iPad. And even if you did have a physical keyboard, you could just whip out the iPad and check the scores or read the news without it so many times it's optional.

    With an iPad you are getting an extra level of physical convenience that is quite real. If that's not for you that's fine, it's not meant for everyone. Tablets are suddenly the en vogue because when the iPad was first released, all the other tech companies said "me too!" Now these same companies are saying "shit we are losing laptop sales, we better get our asses moving." I can't speak to say if other tablets will offer a total package that is useful and competitive with the iPad. Right now we can only say what the iPad does vs everything else.

  • Re:Heh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BrokenHalo (565198) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @02:09PM (#33666018)
    Calling the iPod a smaller version of the iPad is like calling a flip phone a small netbook...

    Not really. The iPod Touch and the iPad have more similarities than differences, and there's little point in discussing usability, since that is entirely at the mercy of Apple.

    The iPad looks very attractive, but it is essentially (like that manufacturer's other handheld products) just a media box. From my point of view, Apple has missed the boat. I would have welcomed an iPad that ran OS X with the bells that come with it, most particularly the *nix shell of my choice (zsh if anyone cares).

    In other words, what I really is a tablet computer, not just a locked-in box that dishes up any trinkets and baubles that Apple cares to sell me.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @02:20PM (#33666188) Homepage

    I think it is too early to call them a huge success. The Yugo, by this standard, was a huge success of a car. After all, a lot of people bought them and at one time, there was a LOT of them on the road.

    Before we start calling this a success, we should wait to see if people are still using them in another year... or a couple more years. A successful product is one, like the palm pilot. That gadget was wildly successful. It was in many pockets, briefcases and hands for a very long time... some people are still using theirs. (Personally, I didn't think it would catch on...I was wrong)

    So far, I know three iPad owners. Of those three, exactly 0 of them are still carrying it around with them. That's right. They carried them around for about a month before I no longer notice them carrying it. Do they still play with it? Maybe... maybe at home. They certainly don't bring it to work with them any longer. That sampling is certainly not large enough to establish a trend, but it is certainly within my expectations.

  • Re:Heh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Americano (920576) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @02:24PM (#33666254)

    From my point of view, Apple has missed the boat.

    Which boat is that, exactly? The boat that Microsoft is on with their super-profitable tablet business?

    The boat with all the Android-based iPad work-alikes? Yeah, it would be great if the iPad worked like an Android clone of the iPad.

    ot just a locked-in box that dishes up any trinkets and baubles that Apple cares to sell me.

    Man, you'd be soooo pissed to see me learning new guitar chords, reading books, responding to email, watching Netflix movies, talking with family & friends over Skype, taking pictures & video, editing video, uploading it, writing a new version of my resume, and all of that stuff with my iPad and iPhone. I guess I missed the memo that the iOS devices are only suitable for mindlessly purchasing stuff from the Apple "walled garden".

  • Re:I doubt it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @02:48PM (#33666622)

    So 100% of what the average person would use a notebook for.

  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @02:54PM (#33666702)

    "Solving the input problem. Virtual keyboards are virtually awful. Maybe integrate a snap-on BT keyboard?"

    The iPad will work with pretty much any bluetooth keyboard you care to use. If you buy the adapter it will also work with many USB keyboards.

    "Easy to use on the couch? Have you tried it? Will someone make Chumby-style beanbag 'covers' for tablets? If only they had a cupholder, perfect!"

    Yes, yes, and I'm pretty sure someone already does.

    "Screen size is in opposition to portability. Show me the folding or pull-out screen, something like a windowshade. Is this technology anywhweres near production? Well, I guess I'll be waiting a while."

    No. Yes, I guess you will. Meanwhile the rest of the world will be enjoying their tablets that are the oppressive surface area of a sheet of paper.

  • by BarryJacobsen (526926) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @02:56PM (#33666740) Homepage

    Apple is coming out with a easy to swallow capsule.

    Red or Blue??

    Silver, charcoal, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red and pink. ;-)

    I think you mean Chrome, Charcoal, Grape, Blueberry, Lime, Lemon, Tangerine, Rose, and Bubblegum.

  • Re:Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by catmistake (814204) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @03:46PM (#33667422) Journal

    From my point of view, Apple has missed the boat. I would have welcomed an iPad that ran OS X with the bells that come with it, most particularly the *nix shell of my choice (zsh if anyone cares)

    I thought the exact same thing. But I thought I'd give it 10 days of a trial before returning it and sticking it to Apple. You'd be surprised. Just try getting it away from me now. I never really use my laptop anymore... well, not directly. I use it now mostly as a media server. Want zsh? There's oodles of ssh apps that will allow you to connect to your Linux server to satisfy your shell tooth.

    In other words, what I really is a tablet computer, not just a locked-in box that dishes up any trinkets and baubles that Apple cares to sell me.

    Not so much. What you really is closed minded, like I used be.

  • Re:Heh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @04:08PM (#33667736) Journal

    While I'm sure there are a few geeks like you that can figure out a way to do something constructive with it, the reason I've seen for the crazy sales of iPhone 4 (even after all the phone problems) and iPad living by a college is explained in this video [youtube.com]. Sadly talking to many of the college kids I had almost that exact same conversation. Hell my 67 year old dad is talking about getting an iPhone 4. when I pointed out he can't even figure out how to text with his Samsung and got him to admit what made the iPhone 4 so appealing to him, it was the other contractors have it and he doesn't want to be out of style.

    You know, we really should give old Steve Jobs a hell of a lot more credit than we do. While one could argue the success of the early Apple was due to Woz building damned good designs, with the new Apple Jobs took a company that was DOA and thanks to his marketing brilliance made them the "must have" product. Hell even when he puts out a boner like iPhone 4 they sell by the semi load! I swear that man could put a fricking brick in a box and have a million selling hit, give credit where credit is due. Sadly even though the tablets in TFA will probably have nicer hardware, more features, and be cheaper to boot, they will most likely all bomb hard. As we saw with MSFT and first tablets, then HTPCs, then Vista and Zune, what you are selling doesn't matter as much as how you sell it and that seems to be something these companies don't get, while Steve has built an empire on it. So here's to you Steve, I bet you could sell ice cream to Eskimos.

  • by bhartman34 (886109) on Wednesday September 22, 2010 @04:16PM (#33667842)

    I'm not so sure. The ipad/tablets are just taking the place of netbooks. In my opinion netbooks were just underpowered and cramped laptops. The ipad/tablets remove the cramped aspect of the netbook and slap on a touch based gui. It seems to me that it's just the natural evolution of the netbook, taking it's shortcomings and addressing them. So I suppose if netbooks were a toy to you, then by all means, believe that the ipad is a toy as well.

    You're missing one of the important aspects of netbooks. They run real operating systems (i.e., not phone OSes). They don't limit you to whatever the manufacturer (be it Apple or anyone else) wants to sell you in their app store.

    I'd also take issue with the idea that removing the keyboard eliminates the "cramped aspect of a netbook". You can rip out the steering wheel in a car to get more space, but have you really gained anything? Typing on a netbook may not be a dream come true, but it's a damn sight better than "typing" on a piece of glass.

    Another difference that can't be overstated is the black box problem. With an OS like iOS, you don't have any access to anything under the GUI, and the GUI itself only gives you the most shallow of access. Even those applications that do give you folder access on the iPod (and, presumably, the iPad) have to be run from the desktop.

    Now, is this all some people need? Sure. There are a lot of people who can get by never having to type a long document, or do content creation on their devices. But these people aren't using their iPads for work. They've got real jobs that require more horsepower. They're using their iPads as toys.

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