With the recent news about the product release of iPad from Apple, everyone these days seem to be talking about this new device as next big thing from Apple. Of course, tablets in overall will be the next big thing in the computer industry. However, the questions is will iPad stands out like iPhone among other smart phones?
The answer from me is it will be not be as popular as iPhone did for smartphone market. Why? There are couple of reasons for that. First of all, it is the competition. Other computer manufacturers such as HP have been experimenting with such kind of tablet device but they did not release them yet until now when the time is right for such new market.
The idea of the tablet is something between a smartphone and a laptop or our normal desktop. This is the idea of what tablet is at this very beginning. However, the size of tablet is, if not bigger, as close as mini laptops. So, from the user point of view, we should be virtually able to use all the applications and tools that runs on larger screen of mini laptops or netbooks. I would except that too.
What this means is the importance of software and more importantly the platform the software applications will run on. In this arena of software platform ecosystem, nobody can compete so far with Microsoft. Micirosoft Windows platforms have been for a while, and it has many of the applications we use for personal and businesses. So, I would bet more on tablet devices with more open and diverse software platform ecosystem.
Another thing is that tablet will not be necessarily bound to telephone service providers such as AT&T or Verizon or such monopoly telecommunication companies. Because, mostly people will love just seeing tablet with wireless connection WiFi and I guess most people wont want to put such big tablet against their ears and starting talking on phone. (Of course, there can be bluetooth earphone etc … to avoid such awkward use). In other word, more people will have access to the use of tablets and thus more developers will be able to experiment and start creating diverse and innovative software applications that runs on tablets. So, I see the coming years with explosive growth in software developments for tablet. In this case, there are already many more Windows developers than the ones for Apple platform. Enterprise systems mostly use Windows for their IT operations.
Another force that will be joining this revolution will be from the Web world. Many web developers have been in difficult times with making website and web applications that works well on larger screen of laptops and dekstops, as well as on small screens of mobile devices. However, with the larger screen size of tablets, user can now view the websits as normal if not as perfect as on desktops. So, we will see a lot of innovations coming from Web world going to tablets. This in turn means companies like Google and many Web 2.0 will enjoy a great ride of tablets.
Therefore, tablets with more open and more diverse software platform will win in this new race of tablet world. Some of the potential winners will be HP, Microsoft, Google, Linux and many other existing and upcoming Web 2.0 companies.