Android versus Ipad
The Tablet wars are starting to heat up!! While Steve Jobs Apple has more or less created a new category with its highly successful Ipad, other Electronics Giants are jumping into the fray. In recent days both Toshiba and Samsung have announced the introduction of their own Android powered Tablets which will tap into the 50,000+ library of available applications on the Android Market. The PMP giant Archos has also introduced a wave of Android tablets ranging from 3.2" to 7" which are literally Ipod Touch to Ipad sized competitors. Lets put things into perspective. Yes Apple does have 250,000+ apps that could either run on their Ipad or be ported to the Ipad although they all currently run on the Iphone. Googles Android works on both mobile phones as well as tablets so in that respect they are on an equal footing barring the variance in apps. Apple has the benefit of owning, designing and producing the OS and the Hardware for tight integration. However due to Googles excellent level of interoperability with various manufacturers hardware they are very closely tied in that respect. The beauty of having other Manufacturers getting into the Tablet Wars is that there will be variations in hardware offerings which will greatly affect pricing. Apples dominance in the Ipad market could easily be challenged by creative hardware manufactuers utilizing Google and offering the consumer choices which could conceivably cost 50% less than the Ipad. The key there would be to leverage the App component of this formula and perhaps offer the public bundles where the perceived value of purchasing a bundle with accessories and a $100 credit on the App store. Apple would be hard pressed to follow suit and that would cut into their profit margins which would disrupt the free flowing Apple dividend. There are so many manufacturers that have the technological clout to either upstage Apple or perhaps even surpass it by offering more creative hardware options. Sony, Motorola, Toshiba, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Archos, LG, Lenovo, and the list goes on. The form factor could also be modified to be more travel friendly and allow for hardware add ons which the Ipad in its current design severely limits. Apple has always ignored two aspects of mobility. One is that they do not offer a removable battery and due to the sealed design of their hardware replacements can be quite costly. The second area is storage. Apple limits the storage capability by not allowing for external or internal Micro SD storage to be added. This is something that will eventually become increasingly more important as time goes on. The world is going more mobile with each and every day and as such people will be downloading and holding content on their devices. The ability to download media using Wifi and then be able to access it at a later time is going to become a priority as cellular bandwidth availability and costs continue to rise. Any vendor that offers upgradeable memory or even a removable slimline hard drive that is modular and easy to remove and replace will surely put a new competitive spin on this Tablet category. Most of us would like to carry one simple device that is relatively portable and has the ability to do what we need most, watch, communicate, film, video record and manage our lives. Imagine a device that basically has a core of a Screen with attacheable modules that you purchase as you need them to customize your device. The basic cost would be unchallenged by the competition and would have basic functions like the Ipad. The trick would be to add reasonably priced modules to give it 3G functionality, various levels of photography, and any other type of add on that would benefit portability. This device could appeal to different people with different budgets but the core device could be mass produced at a very low cost as it forms the basis for the entire device. All we can do now is wait and see what comes down the road.