IPad V2 to launch as rivals' tablets reach the market?
It has taken a few months, but mobile device and software manufacturers are finally coming up with an answer to the iPad. From September, Samsung's Galaxy Tab will be available on the four major US networks, and Research in Motion's Playbook will be available from the beginning of 2011, on the back of a brand new operating system. HP's slate is also expected in the new year.
On top of that, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is set to launch next month. The software giant appears to have several manufacturers signed up including Samsung, Asus, LG and Motorola, though not necessarily for tablets immediately. Not to be left out, Michael Dell has said that his company will launch another tablet device shortly, to compliment the Dell Streak, increasing the size from 5inches to 7 inches. Next year there could be a several other players coming to market, though no news from Nokia yet...
The question is how Apple will respond. And its likely to be via a launch itself of a second-generation iPad which irons out any flaws or omissions in the first version (not that anyone really complained). It looks as if Apple will come up with its second generation iPad, no doubt sleeker, slimmer and sexier, just as the first versions of at least two devices from rival manufacturers come to the market. This will not only steal their thunder, but also give the company another opportunity for a media-grabbing marketing push that only Apple can pull off.
So what will the tablet industry look like a year from now? There will certainly be a broader range of devices available, but will others have succeeded in knocking Apple off the shelf? Not to my mind. Apple's dominance in this area is set to last for a couple of years at the very least, unless a rival succeeds in achieving a genuine innovation which takes us by surprise- but then, isn't that Apple's Job?