The iPad’s Competitors Drop Like Flies. Actually, They Never Even Took Off.

The iPad is the king of tablets and might hold that title for years to come. However, there are a ton of alternatives that we’ve featured over the last few months… But since [then], a lot has changed and while some managed to make it to the market, others were delayed or scrapped entirely.

Nice article describing what’s happened to alleged iPad alternatives (are they called alternatives to recognize the iPad has no competitors?) in the last few months.

I’ve written the iPad has no “alternatives”, and CrunchGear makes it’s easy to see why. We can dismiss seven of them out of hand: 

  • ModBook – This is a MacBook reconfigured. A laptop with a desktop OS.
  • Viliv X70 – A tablet with a desktop OS (XP, no less).
  • Archos 9 – A tablet with a desktop OS.
  • Viliv S10 Blade – A “convertibile” device. Again, a laptop with a desktop OS.
  • Spring Design Alex – This is an eBook reader, what’s it doing here?
  • Lenovo Skylight – A netbook, not sure how it made even an exaggerated list of competitors.
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U1 – Another “convertibile” that comes apart. Desktop OS as PC, and maybe Android as a tablet?

Some of these are not even available, but even if they were they’re not iPad alternatives. They’re not iPad tablets in any sense. It’s not just about form, it needs a touch, not desktop, OS and apps. The human finger doesn’t have the precision for software written for the precision of a cursor tip. A stylus can address that, but styli are a big failure, no one wants them. Why would any hardware maker (or anyone else) ignore the decade of failure “desktop tablets” have had in the market? 

After weeding out the above, of the six remaining (I left the HP Slate because rumors say it won’t run a desktop OS), four of them—Notion Ink Adam, HP Slate, WeTab, and ExoPC—are nowhere to be found. These devices are delayed, or maybe even killed altogether. In any case, they can hardly be called alternatives now. They’re vapor, and I remain convinced the iPad will outsell vapor. 

So that leaves just two devices: the enTourage eDGe dualbook, which isn’t any good; and the Dell Streak, whose too-large-for-a-pocket but too-small-for-a-tablet form factor isn’t winning any converts, and it’s not yet available in the US. 

The tech press loves for Apple to have competition, and sometimes go out of their way to invent it. In the case of the iPad, however, it simply doesn’t exist. Not even close. Maybe by the end of the year, but certainly not now.

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7 thoughts on “The iPad’s Competitors Drop Like Flies. Actually, They Never Even Took Off.

  1. @oak_labs, I agree with you. I think rumors of HP dropping Windows 7 for the slate are so they can get webOS on a tablet, but it definitely remains to be seen how (if) they pull that off. As for Android, no question in my mind the majority of competitors, when they get here, will be Android-powered, but Google needs to decide of they will allow Apps on tablets. They’ve said no in the past, which I think is a mistake. And Chrome OS (a wild card since it’s vapor) is not going to allow local apps, either.

  2. The only real competition in the near future is Palm and Google. It will come down to whether HP+Palm works well or not, and if Google wants to keep flexing its muscles. I don’t think Microsoft is going to be able to compete for a little while. They could barely get a media player out to compete with the ipod, they finally did but the world had moved to mobile phones. They are now trying to catch phones and Apple released the ipad, see the trend?

  3. Exopc_blog,Thanks for taking the time to respond. Our differences are in the definition of “vapor”. I’m using it to mean something a consumer can’t go and buy. A simple definition, but if I can’t buy your product then it’s not yet an iPad competitor, which is the subject of this post.I appreciate that the ExoPC is real, and just visited your site to see the un-boxing and photos. I’ll keep my eyes open for when it’s available. But, at least until September, it remains “vapor” by my definition.

  4. You’re wrong. ExoPC Slate isn’t “vapor”. It is a real product coming out in September. You can check out exopc.com or exopc-blog.com . It is a REAL project, a REAL tablet 🙂

  5. Beanie,Yes, I believe the iPad will never have a stylus. At least, not one from Apple. Nor do I think Apple will write software that would require a stylus. As for the patent, Apple has many that have never seen the light of day.

  6. Tom Reestman wrote:”but styli are a big failure, no one wants them.”So you are saying iPad will never have a stylus. But Apple filed a pen stylus patent so they must be experimenting with one. No one reads books anymore according to Steve Jobs back when Kindle was launched. I guess no one wants a stylus until Steve Jobs says you want one. Like you wrote below consumers do not know what they want until they see it.The Nintendo DS handheld console has a stylus and has sold over a hundred million devices. It was the best selling console in May according to NPD.

  7. Unfortunately, it happens to be the case that Apple competitors follow the pattern of releasing products to “kill” Apple’s last year gadgets.In 2011 we will certainly find many tablets on par with the 2010 iPad. But then the 2010 iPad will be discontinued and the 2011 iPad will make competition irrelevant. Yet again.

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