With over 1 million units sold in 28 days, the iPad is a runaway hit. Positioned as an intermediary device between a smartphone and a laptop, the iPad may very well change, in a fundamental way, how we use technology.
But more importantly, the masses have spoken, and consumers are more than willing to pay $500+ for a tablet device. Meanwhile, other tech companies not named ‘Apple’ either a) already released lackluster tablet efforts or b) are scrambling to release tablet devices of their own. In fact, HP’s acquisition of Palm has everything to do with Palm’s WebOS that will soon become the centerpiece of HP’s tablet strategy. Which, of course, is a blow to Microsoft given that Steve Ballmer got up on stage at this year’s CES and proudly showcased an HP Slate running Windows 7. Well, so much for that.
Another company looking to get into the tablet game, as it were, is RIM. According to Blackberry Leaks, RIM is hard at work developing their own in-house answer to the iPad. RIMs’ tablet, codenamed ‘BlackPad’, or perhaps ‘Cobalt’, is rumored to be thinner than the iPad and slightly smaller to boot. Remember that it was only a few weeks ago that RIM reportedly ordered 8.9-inch screens from Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn).
In any event, RIM thus far hasn’t been too successful with its non-qwerty keyboard efforts. Both models of the touchscreen-based Blackberry Storm have been disappointments, while also generating a fair amount of customer complaints. It’s hard to see how a tablet device from RIM would be any different.