Yesterday Eric Schmidt mentioned something about a tablet being worked on by Google. No exact details were mentioned about who Google would be making it or what it would be called. Yet still the web was awash with Google Nexus tablet articles.
All of this speculation got me thinking though. What do tablet manufacturers need to do to get people to actually buy them? Do we need another tablet range? Will it just be another Xoom variant? How will it differentiate itself from the new 7″ Google tablet T-Mobile carries? Will whatever Google eventually come up with your just be another super high spec device that will just fail in the face of the iPad 3?
I then started to look at the second generation tablets that are starting to come out. In my opinion not many of the devices seem to be that exciting.
Motorola’s new models have a slightly changed shape, they have created a smaller model and barely updated the internals of any of the new models.
Acer have announced they are going after the mid range with a few slightly redesigned Iconias, again the internals are barely changed from their first generation tablets.
Viewsonic can’t seem to get any product to market anywhere near a quoted release date.
We mustn’t forget Andypad who promised to release an Ice Cream Sandwich update for their tablets, so no doubt they will become relevant again sometime soon.
Sony haven’t announced a successor to the Tablet S or P devices.
Archos are just churning out slight variations of their G9 tablets and have promised to update them next year.
Samsung also have not mentioned their next generation tablets.
Lastly we have Asus, the slight glimmer of hope that is Asus. Their upcoming Asus Transformer Prime is the one slightly exciting upcoming tablet which will hopefully be released on time, they will hopefully release the promised update on time and hopefully there will be no bugs. We can but hope. But in a years time the iPad 3 will be out and where will the Transformer Prime be? Benchmarks have already put the GPU of the Transformer Prime behind the iPad 2 never mind their next device.
Will a Google Nexus tablet make a difference? If they follow their ideas from the Nexus phones they will create a niche market device that will appeal to people wanting to flash custom roms, new kernels, install tweaks and just generally try to break it on a hourly basis. This wouldn’t exactly be a contender. More than likely Schmidt was talking about a joint venture between Google and Motorola and it will be the next in line for the Xoom range.
Still though the main problem is apps designed for tablets. Developers for iOS make some great apps that are designed well and use plenty of the available screen. Whether it was just a Honeycomb problem or not I don’t know but many Android developers released an Android app for phones and didn’t really think that anyone would want to install it on their tablet. Take Love Film for instance, the iPad app you can actually stream your films directly on the device and manage your lists. For Android you can’t do that, you can manage your lists and that’s it. Install it on a tablet and you are presented with a massively zoomed out version of the phone app and it forces portrait view on you as well. It’s not all bad though companies like Expedia have just recently released a lovely tablet version of their app allowing you to browse hotels and even book them through the app. Android needs more companies like Expedia to create apps like that to actually get a foothold in the tablet game.
So are any of the upcoming tablets appealing to you? Are any of the prices of the existing tablets too tempting? Are tablets just pointless devices? Let us know your thoughts.