It was a sad day when we learned that Microsoft was discontinuing its work on the Courier, a dual-display tablet that had tech fans buzzing. According to a report on Wednesday from DigiTimes, however, the company is still hard at work on a tablet. The Redmond-based software company is said to be cooperating with Texas Instruments and multiple Taiwan-based manufacturers in an attempt to push a Microsoft-branded Windows 8 tablet out to market by the end of 2012. Outside of the Xbox gaming console, Microsoft has not had much luck with consumer hardware in recent years. The company’s line of Zune media players were never widely adopted and its KIN line of messaging phones were cancelled shortly after their release before later returning to Verizon shelves with barely any fanfare. DigiTimes’ sources suggest those failures won’t stop the company from trying, however, and the buzzing tablet space is an obvious next point of attack. More →
In a recent interview with Finnish news outlet YLE, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop discussed the company’s strategy for approaching the already crowded tablet market. “There are now over 200 different tablets on the marketplace, only one of them is doing really well,” Elop said. “And, my challenge to the team is I don’t want to be the 201st tablet on the market that you can’t tell from all of the others. We have to take a uniquely Nokia prospective.” Elop added that Nokia could work with Microsoft and take advantage of its software for a Windows-based tablet, but also said that the firm could “do things with some of the other software assets that we have.” Early reports have suggested that Nokia may exclude Microsoft from its tablet plans altogether, and that it may still launch a MeeGo powered device. More →
ViewSonic announced on Monday the immediate availability of its unique dual-boot tablet, the ViewPad 10. First announced this past November, the ViewPad 10 is an Atom-based tablet that features a 10-inch 1024 x 600-pixel touchscreen display, a 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor, 2GB of memory, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat. Most notably, however, it features a dual-boot configuration that allows users to boot either Android 1.6 or Windows 7 on demand. “The lines of professional and personal life are blurring, which creates a need for devices that are suited for both sides,” said Adam Hanin, vice president of marketing for ViewSonic Americas, in a statement. “The ViewPad 10 delivers just that by enabling users to merge business productivity with personal enjoyment anywhere, anytime.” The ViewPad 10 is available immediately for $599 (16GB SSD, Windows 7 Home Premium) or $679 (32GB SSD, Windows 7 Professional). Hit the break for ViewSonic’s full press release. More →
Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft won’t have an iPad or Android OS tablet competitor until fall of 2012. It’s said that Microsoft will start testing a new version of Windows publicly at the end of this year with partners and customers, and that new version is reported to be more tailored to touchscreens. It will also feature battery life optimizations to allow for minimal power drain on portable devices. Microsoft has had no relative success in the tablet market despite its attempts to try and create the category dating back many years ago. We have to ask: does a “tablet-optimized” version of Windows sound appealing to you?
In a note to investors on Thursday, RBC Capital Markets General Manager Mike Abramsky reiterates the firm’s belief that the tablet market is poised to explode over the coming years. RBC forecasts a rise in global tablet revenue from $11 billion in 2010 to $70 billion in 2014, noting that leadership will be achieved through a differentiated user experience, innovation, value and the surrounding software ecosystem, among other things. Abramsky views Apple’s iPad as the clear leader in the space right now, though he notes that the iOS tablet’s dominance will likely be short lived. “While Apple’s iPad may continue to set the bar high for experience, we expect Android to dominate (40% share Tablets by 2014), given its broader support from OEMs and carriers and expected budget-priced Android Tablets from Asia,” Abramsky writes. But he also notes that several Android tablet makers will exit the market along the way. “Too many vendors entering the market sets up for a pending shakeout.”
According to an unconfirmed report on Monday, Microsoft has plans to give the world its first glimpse of Windows 8 for tablets this summer. Citing an unnamed source at Microsoft, Business Insider claims the company hopes to at least show off the new operating system’s design by the end of its fiscal year in June. The report says Microsoft will be “taking a more Apple-like approach to interface deign this time around,” and will also use concepts from Windows Phone 7’s Metro UI. Generally, the Metro UI design couldn’t be any further from Apple’s approach with iOS or OS X, so it will be interesting to see which elements of each philosophy make it to Windows 8 if this report is accurate. Microsoft has not given any specific timeline as far as when it might publicly demo Windows 8. More →
In a note to investors on Tuesday, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White became one of only a few analysts to take a minority stance on the iPad 2… sort of. White thinks Apple’s next-generation iPad will see stiff competition from the wave of tablets set to crash down on our shores this year, whereas most believe Apple’s tablet will be a clear winner over competitive offerings. “We estimate there are well over one hundred tablets coming to market around the world this year.” White writes. “Assuming a new iPad is unveiled at this event, we believe Apple must make a convincing case for why the iPad 2 is better than the plethora of competitors coming to market, while at the same time persuading iPad 1 buyers to upgrade to iPad 2.” That was enough to garner some attention, apparently, as White then pumped the brakes. “We still believe the combination of the Apple brand, economies of scale and the company’s powerful ecosystem are reasons enough for Apple to outpace its competitors,” he notes. White currently has a Buy rating on Apple stock with a $550 price target. More →
It wasn’t hard to predict that this year’s Consumer Electronics Show would be all about consumer tablets — Apple’s iPad carved out a new product segment that manufacturers around the world are now hell-bent on saturating. When all was said and done and the smoke cleared, however, there weren’t many people who guessed that CES would actually bring us over 100 new slate-form devices. Ranging in size from a minuscule 4-inch Panasonic tablet to the excessive dual 14-inch displays found on Kno’s 6-pound clamshell offering, we saw just about every size and shape accounted for at the show. As an homage to the borderline ridiculous number of tablets unveiled at CES 2011, CEA Chief Economist and Director of Research Shawn DuBravac slapped them all into one gigantic table. If you think you’re sick of reading about tablets now, just wait until you hit the jump for the full list of tablets preparing to invade homes in the near future. More →
We’re still deep in day two of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show and apparently Samsung has already moved on. Speaking at CES on Friday, Samsung’s president of mobile J. K. Shin discussed the company’s big plans for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month. “We will continue to keep our technology leadership this year. In terms of dual-core applications, we already have a program, and next month at Mobile World Congress we will unveil it,” Shin said at the show. Shin went on to note, “In February at MWC, we will unveil our next-generation tablet device portfolio in detail.” According to the exec, Samsung’s 4G strategy will soon begin moving toward 4G. The company will release new smartphones and tablets, and both WiMAX and LTE devices will be included in Samsung’s future portfolio. Shin also stated that new Windows Phone 7 smartphones would be announced at MWC next month, along with both 3G and 4G tablets. More →
We’re all ready to go at Microsoft CEO Steve Baller’s CES keynote event — the room is packed and the event is set to start any minute. What will be shown? Well, maybe some tablets or even new Windows Phone 7 handets? Or that mythical Windows 8? We’ll see soon enough! You can watch along with us since Microsoft is live-broadcasting Ballmer’s keynote in its entirety. Hit the break for the live video! More →
On Tuesday, ASUS introduced four new tablet devices ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Eee Pad MeMO, Eee Pad Transformer, Eee Pad Slider and Eee Slate EP121 are the first of many tablets that will be introduced this week, and the gauntlet has been thrown down. ASUS’ offerings are stylish, functional and well spec’d, giving customers an array of choices to suit a variety of needs. Hit the break for all the juicy details including pricing and availability. More →
While its name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, the LG E-Note H1000B is finally a reality. The pricey Windows tablet features a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768-pixel touchscreen, a 1.66GHz processor, a 16GB SSD and 1GB of RAM. Despite a rogue press image on LG’s H1000B page showing the tablet running Windows XP, Windows 7 is indeed LG’s OS of choice — it ships with Windows 7 Starter but Professional is just an upgrade away. The H1000B also features an SD card slot, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth and an $850 price tag when bundled with a portable WiMAX router in Korea. LG has not announced any details surrounding launches in additional markets. More →
A new $7,000 report released Monday by research firm Strategy Analytics takes an in-depth look at the hot new tablet PC market. We’ll give you the highlights for free. In the report, SA states that Apple’s iPad owned a mammoth 95.5% of the global tablet market in the third quarter of this year. Android tablets, the second largest group of tablets, made up 2.3% of the market. The report goes on to speculate that the coming onslaught of Android tablets will level the playing field quickly, though consumers have yet to prove that they have any interest in tablet PCs whatsoever. At this point, consumers have only shown an interest in the iPad, albeit an overwhelming interest. No other manufacturer has shown that it has the ability to build a tablet with allure or mass-appeal that comes anywhere close to matching Apple’s offering. The more likely scenario is one that will mimic the path 3D TV is taking — the market will become so flooded with tablet PCs that slow but steady adoption will be inevitable.