Last week in San Francisco was action packed. New people starting, more furniture coming, a few projects in final stages and magazines. Scott and I were doing some street bodystorming between meetings (photo to the right).
Since I wrote about tablet last year at the CES, it is still the main battlefield this year as everyone is not only jumping into it, but most have no clue of how to play or win this war. Yes iPad is now the common enemy and this one is not easy to beat, you have to beat them on hardware, software, human factors, interface, and most of all the Apple brand and integration with iTunes and iMac.
The biggest surprise is Motorola, beaten to death in the mobile space and now entering the tablet game in far better than shape that others The Motorola tablet is by far the best tablet, it runs on NVIDIA Tegra 2 and Google’s new Android Honeycomb.
Motorola Mobility, the new Motorola spinoff that went live as a separate entity on the NASDAQ. This new company focuses entirely on consumer devices, in partnership with Google and Verizon they just announced the new the Motorola Atrix, a smartphone that doubles as a legitimate PC replacement with both desktop and laptop docks. This company is coming back big time.
The Motorola Xoom tablet and the HTC Thunderbolt were especially impressive in performance and usability. Both are the only two serious threat to iPad, at least until Apple comes up with iPad2 or iPadthin or iPadsports. With the tablet race, Nvidia looks like is becoming the Intel of the next great wave of computing. Where’s Intel? Samsung and LG folks are sleeping and eating in their war rooms thinking about fighting this tablet war. Both are committed and determined to be a key player, but could use a lot of help.
Where’s Sony? The once mighty consumer electronics giant? What’s the coolest thing from Sony? And when’s the last time you heard about a breakthrough product from Sony? When’s the last time you heard about a market-leading product from Sony? They spend too much time trying to win back the TV war by going full throttle on 3D. I know for them, losing the TV war is hurting them deep, as they have always been the kings of TVs, that is until Korea joined the game.
Sony deputy president Kunimasa Suzuki, “We’d really like to take the No. 2 position (in the tablet market) by 2012. At this moment, the timing of (those tablet) announcements versus (their) availability today is a different story. iPad is the king of tablets for sure. Who is going to be (the) second player?” Aiming for the second is not exactly a good strategy. They are missing the boat already.
The not-so-secret thing is most new tablets are still in design stage and most don’t come out until September, if it all–take. And by then Apple will be another 12 months ahead of the game.
Unfortunately for those other 500+ e-readers I saw at the CES last year, most of them are so last season. Since the launch of the iPad early last year, it does not make sense not to merge the idea of e-books onto tablet devices that also surf the web, play games, play videos, and do a lot more. What I hate to see is that all those ebooks become ewaste in the landfill, let’s figure a way to do something with them.
Idris Mootee is the CEO of idea couture, a strategic innovation and experience design firm. He is the author of four books, tens of published articles, and a frequent speaker at business conferences and executive retreats.