Tablets Are the New Netbook

Remember when the iPad was announced and people said “meh…”? And now, less than a year later, it’s a huge bread winner for Apple. Everyone else appears to be noticing as well, in the past few weeks more and more tablet rumors have popped up with the vast majority of big name players in the industry on board.

Don’t believe me? Let’s review…

  • The long rumored Notion Ink Adam has pricing, and is expected to launch between November 2010 and January 2011.
  • HP confirmed internally a webOS tablet, then confirmed publicly both a Windows and webOS based tablets for 2011.
  • Bloomberg reported recently that RIM is working on a poorly named tablet, dubbed “BlackPad”, which is supposedly going to launch in November.
  • ASUS was quick to announce the Eee Pad, but it likely won’t ship until March of 2011.
  • LG has confirmed their own tablets are in the works, including a Windows 7 based model and Optimus, an Android tablet. Promised ship date is Q4 2010.
  • Kmart is selling a cheapo Android tablet and even though it has terrible specs they seem to be selling like hotcakes, with Kmart barely able to keep them in stock.
  • Acer teased an Android tablet back in May, but apparently put it on hold until it can ship with Android 3.0 Gingerbread.
  • Toshiba just shipped, and promptly sold out of, a limited run of its dual-screen Libretto tablet.
  • Also from Toshiba is a rumored Android tablet, hitting the streets in September or October.
  • And of course Google and Verizon are supposedly prepping a Chrome OS tablet of their for launch next yet.

While I did go outside the scope of the past few weeks, you get the idea. I’m also probably leaving out a ton of other tablets, like the failed JooJoo tablet for example.

This whole jumping on the tablet bandwagon seems to me to closely resemble when ASUS first launched the Eee PC and the netbook revolution took off, people were a little skeptical at first and then realized it was a great idea. Now I’m not saying tablets will kill off netbooks, but they seem to be the flavor of the month for the foreseeable future. And reportedly the iPad by itself has caused a decline in netbook sales for ASUS.

Bottom line, I love the iPad, but I really am excited to see cheaper (and hopefully better) tablet solutions from companies besides Apple.