With HP, Dell, Motorola, Asus, RIM tablets dead or dying, who can challenge Apple?

“The sudden demise of Hewlett-Packard Co’s WebOS TouchPad after just seven weeks on shelves was a reminder of how tech giants have failed so far to take a bite out of Apple Inc’s iPad,” Liana B. Baker reports for Reuters.

“The TouchPad joins Dell Streak 5 in the tablet graveyard and weak sales for many offerings suggest others are bound to follow,” Baker reports. “‘The non-iPad tablets just won’t sell at retail. That’s the clear message from events over the past few days,’ said Mark Gerber, an analyst at Boston research and investment firm Detwiler Fenton.”

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“Other tablets that have failed to click with consumers include Asustek Computer Eee Pad Transformer and the Xoom from Motorola Mobility, which Google Inc. plans to buy,” Baker reports. “Research in Motion’s PlayBook received scathing reviews and sales have been slack, but it will probably survive since it is key to RIM’s strategy. ‘I do not expect RIM to be shutting down PlayBook sales any time soon or abandoning that platform, because RIM views it as its future,’ said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Financial in New York.”

MacDailyNews Take: RIM has no future. Getting swallowed up would be the same as pulling the plug on the PlayBook dud.

Baker reports, “Apple’s rivals have not fared any better in designing software for tablets.”

“All eyes are now on Google’s ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ system, which will unite the Android software used in tablets and smartphones. That is expected to encourage developers to flock to the platform and create better apps,” Baker reports. “Microsoft could also pose a threat when it releases its tablet software, code-named Windows 8, but this probably won’t be until the fall of 2012… Amazon.com, the maker of the popular Kindle e-reader, is also expected to announce plans to release a tablet this fall, providing a challenge to Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hope springs eternal for tech masochists.


[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Eating Apple iPad’s dust: Tablet market a one-horse race – August 14, 2011
Apple iPad destroying Android wannabes not only in consumer, but business market, too – July 21, 2011
Survey: Consumers don’t want wannabes, they want real Apple iPads – July 20, 2011
Multiple Android tablet peddlers give up, focus on 4- to 5 -inch smartphones – June 17, 2011
JPMorgan Chase: iPad knockoffs fail to gain traction – June 3, 2011
Admitting iPad is perfectly sized, Acer delays 7-inch Android tablet – May 25, 2011
People don’t want prototypes, they want iPads – April 27, 2011
Gartner: iPad wannabes will not threaten Apple’s tablet market dominance – March 21, 2011


  1. Have any of you ever wonder why those products exist or why companies that have already failed keep trying? That is very simple, there is a huge market for ignorance. Problem is that those apple “competitors” are also very ignorant and they don’t realize that market does not have enough money to buy those tablets or its application.

    1. These failing tablet companies are still living in the old tech world, where you could crank out stuff that wasn’t very good and people would buy it anyway because they believed there was no quality alternative.

      Now people KNOW about Apple, they KNOW about the iPhone, they KNOW about the iPad.

      And people EXPECT their tablets to be a JOY to interact with… not “well, I can STAND it.” If people want to say “Well, I can stand it,” they stick with netbooks.

      Put another way, these companies don’t yet understand that the days of people buying from spec-sheets are over. The days of uber-geeks and hobbyists controlling what gadgets succeed are over.

      Now comes the time of gadgets that work beautifully and are a joy to use for normal people.

      And only Apple seems to understand that.

  2. There is one downside to all these failures: product stagnation. Not likely, I admit. But competition can and does drive innovation, efficiency, and can even drive down price. So I do worry that Apple might relax and rest on it’s laurels.

    Unlikely, I know. But something to consider as you cheer the demise of others.

    1. NONSENSE! In some product sectors, yes. Where Apple plays, NOPE. They could care less what anyone else is doing, they do not need Samsung to drive innovation. It’s in Apple’s DNA. Apples price is driven by the value it provides, not by some cheap commodity junk it is competing against. Wake up America, Cheaper RARELY delivers more than short term value. It is this whole commodity culture that is destroying us. Walmart, Dell, etc all shining examples. Your desire to buy cheap crap so you can amass more crap than your neighbor isn’t helping you, it destroying you. Buy quality at a premium price, get premium value. PERIOD.

      1. Agreed. Did Apple need competition to make the iPhone? Nope. The iPad? Nope. The iPod? Nope. The MacBook Air? Nope. The last several years, Apple has produced market-dominating products right out of the gate.

        As is often mentioned, the only “iPhone Killer” was the iPhone 3G, which was killed only by the 3GS, et cetera. Same with the original iPad. Apple HAS competition. It’s called “Apple”.

    2. We (I) do not “cheer the demise of others.” The fact that anyone can rapidly copy Apple’s products and devices screams the fact that they could have done it first. They had the resources but not the desire or innovation to do so. Now, they try to match a feature of a tightly integrated product or device and they do not understand that they have to match the entire user experience. That is their short fall and that is the final nail in the coffin of what they created.

      A car has no value to the customer if there is no roads, gas stations, repair stations, oil well and refineries, … When Edison developed the light bulb, he understood that a power station, power grid, lamps, … needed to be in place for anyone to adopt the light bulb.

      These box makers lack the vision so the products that they make are doomed!

    3. With virtually zero competition, Apple created the iPad and not only reinvented the tablet market, but defined it. With virtually zero competition, Apple trumped its own incredible product with the 2nd generation. While it is true that most companies tend to rest on their laurels in the absence of competition, Apple has proven to be an anomaly.

    4. Another reason why this is a mistaken argument is that Applr doesn’t see iPad as a standalone device. Rather, iPad, like iPhone, is an introduction device. Like on a sports team, where the various team members are working together for the team win, but engage in friendly, inividual competition. So, in the vacuum of tablet competition, iPad still has a friendly competition with the MacBook Air, the iPhone, the iMac, etc. When you walk into an Apple store, each product has to hold its own when measured by the others. Who cares about the TouchPad, will it survive the scrutiny of iPhone 5 owners? Or will they demand more?

  3. Wow, “… won’t be until the fall of 2012 …” is an eternity in the IT market. A half a year ago or even one year ago would have been to late. The tablet battle is over. The iPad won. The war has been decided and iOS has won. As in all world wide wars, some of the troops have not been told to wave the white flag.

    What market does Apple want to either create or take over next?

    1. on the contrary, I like Microsoft’s strategy. They are watching how the market behaves or how “Apple’s competitors” are failing. They might learn something out of it. By default, Windows 8 tablet is dead, so it’s only about timing now. There are “too many” expected players now, would there be a chance in the market if the market only consists of 3 players or less. So, let those prematures die first…

      1. If we are only looking at the tablet market, it was there long before the iPad. Yet, the iPad has 95% of the market. It is not how many “players”, it is what are they bringing to the game? Does anyone want what they are offering? Best Buy will tell you no. If it isn’t an iPad and doesn’t have an Apple logo on it, no one will spend their money on it. I read today that the HP TouchPad is on sale for $99. Was $499 now $99. FREE if you buy a TV! Next will be what RIMM does with their crap, buy 1 HP TouchPad get 2nd FREE!

        Keep in mind that the iPadKillers have to be less that $99 until the TouchPads are flushed out of inventory!

  4. I think that Amazon, out of everyone, has the best chance. Unlike all of the other competitors Amazon seems to understand that content is King and it is content that draws users to the platform: not hardware specs. I am not saying that Amazon will necessarily be successful but they do have the best change out of everyone.

    1. I agree. Amazon can build on the success of the Kindle. They will never take serious market share from Apple but they could develop a nice market on their own. As Jobs said several years ago. 5% of a big market is very nice. Look at BMW.

    1. Units in the distribution channel is not the same thing as sales to end users. There’s no reliable number anywhere on how many Android tablets have actually been sold. Samsung, Motorola, et al will only report the number of units manufactured and sent into the distribution channel. Apple’s numbers on the iPad reflect actual sales.

      Prior to HP pulling the plug on the TouchPad, Best Buy alone took 250k of them — only 25k of which were sold. That should give you an indication of how disparate the two numbers are.

  5. ok wait, if apple doesn’t have any competition and that’s how it looks now, won’t the government have to interfear to avoid monopoly or something like that?

    1. Only if Apple is using its position as market leader to deliberately crush competitors by underhand or illegal means. At the moment it is only crushing them by having vastly better products. No law against that.

      1. Exactly! Having a monopoly is not illegal in any way! It is the abuse of monopoly that is illegal.

        Where this weird idea that a monopoly is illegal came from I have no idea.

        1. hmm! I did not know that. I always thought monopolies were illegal period. Cuz without any competition there is no stoping a company from blowing their prices off the roof. But hmm! Never thought a company who monopolizes the market would keep their prices down. I mean, if your the only one in the world who is selling a specific product, why pull your prices down? There is no reason to do that because you have no competition.

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