A brand new year is upon us and right off the hop tablet PC manufacturers are already beginning to slash prices. The NYE ball has dropped in Times Square but is this the only ball that’s being dropped? Take for instance the 9.4 inch Sony Tablet S, as of today both 16GB and 32GB models of the Android tablet are $100 cheaper. You can snag the 16GB model up for $399.99 and the 32GB model for only $499.99 which you can see for yourself on the Sony website. A high end tablet PC with mid range prices, a trend we’re likely to see more of and not a bad start to the new year for consumers!
On the other hand, price cuts are not always great news for tablet computer manufacturers. The fact that companies such as Sony (among others) are already initiating price cuts on the first day of the year and most importantly before even releasing newly improved models is not exactly a sign of thriving times. Now that 2012 has arrived the question is; which tablets will win the race, enter the race for the first time, or stay in the race for that matter, and which ones will fester in the giant pit of lonely and unsuccessful tablets which have flooded the market as of late?
There’s no doubt that competition will remain high in 2012 in the tablet PC industry and of course we’re likely to see several new devices hit the scene such as for example the iPad 3 and Nexus tablet very soon, but could this also be the year where the gap widens even more between true industry leaders/innovators and companies who just hopped on the tablet PC bandwagon with no real vision, strategy or mission other than hopes of gaining a piece of the pie?
Although the tablet PC market was flooded with countless new devices in 2011, we also saw trends beginning where devices such as the HP TouchPad and BlackBerry PlayBook practically fell off the map and surprisingly fast as well. Who would have thought this time last year that such dominant companies would fail so miserably especially with so much hype and cash spent on marketing campaigns. It stands to prove that not even the biggest price cuts can resurrect certain devices from the dead and it all comes down to the real state of the industry and what exactly it is that consumers want. Of course anything can happen and companies do bounce back but when it comes to tablet PCs I believe that only true innovators will stand a chance if they want to gain market share in a highly populated industry which has been flooded with cheap mobile devices that are rushed to market with no real game plan or long term vision. There’s a lot more to the bigger picture than just a device itself and what makes or breaks a tablet PC extends far beyond hardware and branches into many other areas which determine their fate whether it be good or bad. Some of these areas include but are not limited to:
- Tablet PC technical/customer Support
- Ecosystem (Namely applications, cloud based services, etc…)
- Frequency of mobile operating system upgrades
- Price and Warranties
- Solutions Provided for business, personal and educational use
- Ease of use out of the box
Of course I’m just getting started but you get the point that it’s a lot more involved than simply rushing a touchscreen tablet to market if companies want to remain on the cutting edge of a booming industry. Whatever the case, it’s sure to be another interesting and eventful year and who knows at this point exactly what 2012 will have in store. One thing is for certain, as always, we’ll be following the industry closely and keeping you informed.
As Ben Lloyd stated in a recent comment regarding this article:
…I have to say I believe he is spot on with that comment. What are some of your thoughts regarding the topic? As always we’d love to hear what’s on your mind.