Tablets have always been around us(contrary to popular opinion: Apple didn’t invent the tablet!), Most of them had a resistive display and they ran Windows XP… And then came the smaller form factor UMPC, which again ran XP, but on a 5″-7″ screen. Today, we have Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and RIM’s PlayBook, and here is the thing: None of the aforementioned tablets that have been released lately, have a full blown Desktop OS running on them… They all have a mobile OS running on them(Although they have been redesigned to make use of the screen real estate).
Off late, a lot of competition has been triggered off by Apple building new products… Be it the iPhone or the iPad, various companies have always tried to better Apple’s products… To better the iPhone 3Gs/4, Samsung released Galaxy S, which runs Android and Blackberry released the Torch around the same time as the iPhone 4, only to end up as a disaster of a phone. When Apple released iPad, it was met with competition by HP, as they released their much touted “Slate”(Now, vaporware) . Within the last 3 months: the following 2 products: Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Blackberry PlayBook have been released into the market.
I guess, that the selection of a mobile OS can be justified here. None of the OSes we run on our desktops were optimized for the touch screen, be it Windows or Linux or Mac. While there may be drivers lurking around somewhere on the Interwebz, lets face it: Any of the mentioned desktop OSes would be terribly disappointing, had they been on a tablet. I mean, why would anyone buy a Windows running Galaxy Tab? I am pretty sure it’d be lag heaven.
Probably, the only mobile smartphone OS that hasn’t made it to this tablet world is WebOS(read: Multi-tasking genius)… Well, from what I hear, WebOS is going to be used on printers(!?) and other connected devices manufactured by HP. It is not a big surprise that Nokia made it’s entry into the tablet world with MeeGo, which is their Mobile OS solution: an amalgamation of the Moblin project(Intel) and the Maemo project(Nokia).
Well, where do I see this tablet war going? Personally, I see Apple winning this war and here is why they will:
1. Although the first gen iPad may not be as AWESOME as the PlayBook or as good as the Galaxy tab spec wise, it still does it’s job pretty darn well.
2. When it comes to tablets, I’d like to think of 9.7 – 11” as the ideal size for a tablet… 7 inch tablets for me are closer to the phone, more than anything else.(Do NOT use the #TWSS joke here. Please)
3. When Apple comes out with iPad 2, I am fairly certain that it’ll come with stuff like: 2 HD cameras, the Retina Display, and more connectivity options.
All in all, the wars are still in it’s nacent stage. So yeah, let’s wait and see as to who emerges the victor.