Get your scorecards ready! The tablet market has turned into a free-for-all of sorts this week, and without a scorecard to keep track of the players, you are likely to come out of it with your head spinning.
In her blog earlier this week, Peggy named Samsung and Motorola Mobility (with its pending acquisition by Google) as the two competitors in prime position to, as she wrote, “take a bite out of Apple” in terms of tablet marketshare. I certainly concur with her assessment, but it looks like we may have others vying for that position too.
As of Wednesday we officially have three new tablets, one coming back from the dead, and rumors abound about a few others that could burst onto the scene before the week is out.
Get your scorecards ready; here is what we know for sure:
-HTC has announced its first 4G LTE/HSPA+ tablet, the HTC Jetstream. Available exclusively to AT&T customers beginning September 4, this Android-powered tablet boasts a screen size (10.1-inches) to go head-to-head with the likes of Samsung, Motorola, and Apple. Priced at roughly $700, it will be interesting to see whether or not consumers balk at such a hefty price tag.
- Sony has stepped forward with its first foray into the tablet world with the announcement of two devices: Sony Tablet S and Sony Tablet P. Both are Android-powered tablets, and the Sony Tablet P features a distinguishing folding design with two 5.5-inch displays. Some consider it a “clamshell” tablet—will that be the feature that makes consumers take notice?
- HP is going one more round with the TouchPad. Following news recently that it would discontinue the tablet, this product began flying off of store shelves in the wake of a steep price drop to $99 (which could answer the aforementioned question about HTC’s price tag). Such demand caused HP to be “pleasantly surprised” and apparently the company will produce one more run of the TouchPad. At this point the company doesn’t know when the units will be available or just how many will be made. Stay tuned.
-Rumors are flying out of the IFA show in Berlin this week that Samsung will debut another tablet to its lineup (word has it that it is of the 7-inch variety); and others, including Acer and Toshiba, could have a few connected devices up their sleeves.
So what does it all mean? Well, for starters, it is getting difficult to keep tabs on the tablets at the rate they are coming to market. In the end, will it all be enough to make a valiant run at Apple and the iPad, or for that matter, at Samsung and Motorola? It’s anyone’s guess at this point. Right now we are just waiting on the next big announcement before we decipher what it all means.