Which CES Tablets Are Vaporware?

Posted: Jan 19 2011, 12:44pm CST | by , in News | Tablets

Which CES Tablets Are Vaporware?
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Tim Cook is an ornery cuss.

Apple is having a bit of a hot streak right now. They've just had yet another "highest revenue and earnings ever" quarter. The Q4 iPad sales were especially impressive- 7.33 million. That works out to 55,393 iPads sold every day. The tablet form factor is a clear and present cash cow.

So where is everybody? Notion Ink's delays have pushed the Adam's shipping to the end of January. Motorola's Xoom still has no release date. Ditto the Playbook. When I spoke with reps from Moto and RIM at CES, all anyone would say was "sometime this quarter". Toshiba was just as vague. Asus? No better. Acer? Still waiting for that press release.

High on the sweet ether of their second-consecutive record-breaking quarter, COO Tim Cook can hardly be blamed for getting cocky. In an interview yesterday he asserted that Android tablets were vapor. Quoth Tim, "...they lack performance specs, they lack prices, they lack timing."

Which is basically true. He went on to claim that most competing slates felt like a "scaled-up smartphone". Which is interesting, because in terms of power and capability, the iPad is actually a step down from some Android smartphones.

But Cook can't be blamed. It took two years for credible iPhone competitors to arrive, and some would argue that Android didn't really get there until pretty much now. The year-long delay in desirable iPad-alternatives certainly hasn't proved him wrong.

Tim is too much of a pro to show it, but he'd be a fool to not eye this crop of CES slates with a little concern. Sure- the Xoom was basically a fancy picture frame, but Toshiba and Acer and Asus all rolled up with credible, near-launch products. RIM's Playbook felt entirely functional. I got the feeling that battery optimization was the main thing keeping it back.

The competition is coming. Apple is going to have to deal with a much more competitive market, and I'd put better odds on "sooner" than "later". But- for now, Tim Cook's megalomania is justified. And kind of comforting- I miss Steve Jobs.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
Robert can be contacted directly at robert@i4u.com.




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