Nearly all evidence and data we find comes back to a few fundamental things. First, most of these low cost tablets in the category of ‘other’ are being used purely as portable DVD players, or e-readers. Some are being used for games, but rarely are they connecting to web services, app stores, or other key services. I have asked local analysts, local online services companies, app tracking firms, and many many more regional experts, and the answer keeps coming back the same. They affirm that we see the data showing all these Android tablet sales. But they aren’t actually showing up on anyone’s radar when it comes to apps and services in a meaningful way.
Is this even the same market as the iPad? I don't think it really is. Whereas the iPad is being used to effectively replace (or augment) the PC in many homes and businesses, this looks much more like a replacement for the portable DVD player. Think video iPod, not Mac replacement.
But there’s one big caveat with the Sero 7 LT, not listed on Walmart’s product page: According to Engadget, TechRadar and others, this tablet will only last for about four hours on a charge. Most other tablets last at least twice as long. Even if you’re not planning on hours of consecutive use, a big battery allows you to keep your tablet lying around for days at a time, using it on and off throughout. With a four-hour battery, you’ll need to be extra mindful about plugging the tablet in when it’s not in use.
Also, keep in mind that while the Sero 7 LT’s microSD slot compensates somewhat for the measly 4 GB of built-in storage, it’s not a cure-all. Some Android apps and widgets can’t be installed to a microSD card, and juggling two sources of storage can be a hassle.
So in other words, it’s a tablet which has a battery which makes it certain not to last through the day, tiny amounts of storage, and a dual core processor which is likely to make it feel sluggish. It has no roadmap for future software upgrades. Essentially, it’s barely useable for the kinds of purposes that any family would want to use a tablet for.
Yes, it’s cheap, but in the way that 10p tins of beans used to be cheap: you’d open them up, and find a third of the can was thin watery sauce, with some tough, tasteless beans nestled at the bottom. You’d eat them, because they were the only thing you could afford: but if you could afford anything better you’d buy that instead.
“This mirrors the Tranformer’s success in the UK where its first three production runs have already sold out. Either Asus didn’t anticipate high demand and lowballed their stock, or the Eee Pad Transformer is the perfect example of what can happen when you mix powerful hardware, Android Honeycomb, and the right price.”
My gut feeling is that the fact that the Transformer can be effectively turned into a netbook is making it much more attractive to one segment of the audience – one that wants a tablet occasionally but otherwise wants a small, light laptop.
It also shows that the way forward for Android tablets, at least for the time being, is to try and be different from the iPad rather than just being a (slightly hokey) alternative.
Nowhereelse has dug up what it claims is an ad for the forthcoming Apple tablet, dubbed “iPad”. Watch for yourself…
So why do I think this is fake? Simple: Apple wouldn’t lead off an ad with a line like “After 10 years of development…” Apple ads are all about feeling, and what you can do with something. The “10 years of development” sounds like something they would have done in 1994, not now.
Channelnews Australia quotes Anthony Petts, ANZ Sales and Marketing Director for HTC as saying that all development on the unnamed tablet has ceased, and that the company will be concentrating on mobile phones for the foreseeable future.
Liam Cassidy has used his magical gift of clairvoyance and decided that a product about which no one knows any concrete details is better than a product which has been publicly demo’d for 30 seconds. And he’s managed to write 845 words of detailed analysis on why these pixies are better than those unicorns.
Liam, I hate to break it to you: but you know nothing about either product. That’s “know” in the sense of “actually know”, not “think”, “have an opinion about”, or “need to write a long post to get my monthly pageviews up, otherwise I won’t hit my targets and will get fired.”
“You can’t install Windows 7 apps on Courier, the source said, and that’s intentional.The original Microsoft Tablets ‘failed because the applications were not tailored to a tablet form factor – that is, Word still had toolbars and menus and scollbars. So, a tablet needs to be like an iPhone – a UX that is specific for the form factor,’ the source said.”
Apple will not want you to run “normal” Mac OS X applications on the tablet, because the user experience will be sub-par – and that’s just not the Apple way. Expect it to use a super-set of iPhone OS instead.