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Major vendors ready to concede the tablet wars?

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  • User profile image
    Ray7

    According to Computerworld, the likes of Dell, HP, Acer and Asus are ready to throw in the towel next year and exit the tablet market.

    It appears that content is indeed king, and without being able to secure the kind of deals that Apple and Amazon can then there is not really any money in it for them.

    I can certainly believe this of HP since that company is the definition of rudderless, and perhaps Dell who are making a rapid transition away from the consumer market and into the enterprise. Not so sure about Acer and Asus though; they must be used to tight margins.

     

  • User profile image
    SteveRichter

    Would windows 7 be able to run on iPad hardware?  I don't understand why Apple has the iPad to market and there is no windows equivalent.

     

  • User profile image
    cbae

    Content is king, not because that's where the money is, but because that's what drives hardware sales.

    Android tablets aren't successful primarily because:

    1. The Android UI is (was) a mess. Maybe Google finally got it right with ICS.
    2. There aren't many tablet apps in the Android market.

    Even if we can write off #1 as a personal preference issue, most Android tablet manufacturers are faced with selling a device that's little more than a web-browsing and movie-viewing device for $500, if they are to make any profit at all.

    As much as it seems like Amazon is happy to forego any hardware profit for increased content sales, I highly doubt that this is what their business model will always be. Amazon need only look at its current meager 2.5% operating margin to know that any potential increase in their electronic content sales generated from selling millions of tablets at cost isn't going to do damn thing to improve their profitability. IOW, content sales IS NOT intended to server as a subsidy for their hardware selling prices. Amazon is simply buying themselves into a market right now.

    IMO, $199 price for the Kindle Fire is probably the lowest it will ever be, unless component prices come down so drastically that Amazon can get their bill of materials down to under $100. Amazon's plan is to build up their user base, and then start increasing prices on hardware to improve their overall margins. Just as it is now, content sales will continue to be low margin. That's just the nature of the beast.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , SteveRichter wrote

    Would windows 7 be able to run on iPad hardware?  I don't understand why Apple has the iPad to market and there is no windows equivalent.

    No. Windows7 will not work on IPad hardware because IPads use an ARM processor.

    Windows8 will work with ARM processors and will theoretically work on IPad hardware, but given that Apple has a vested interest in preventing people from doing so, it may be difficult to get it to work.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    No. Windows7 will not work on IPad hardware because IPads use an ARM processor.

    Windows8 will work with ARM processors and will theoretically work on IPad hardware, but given that Apple has a vested interest in preventing people from doing so, it may be difficult to get it to work.

     

    Not sure about that. Apple probably wouldn't care as long as it sold them an iPad. They certainly won't help you do it, but I don't see them making an effort to stop it.

     

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    @cbae:That makes sense. 

    If this report is true then it seems that the vendors have got it completely wrong because they already have content.

     

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , Ray7 wrote

    @cbae:That makes sense. 

    If this report is true then it seems that the vendors have got it completely wrong because they already have content.

    The content is there, but there's really not that much of it yet. I completely understand their plight. These Android tablet OEMs are waiting for the Android Market to produce something compelling to justify the cost of their tablets. Meanwhile, these OEMs' products not only have to compete with the iPad, which already has tons of content and exclusive access to that content, they have to compete with each other on price. Windows PC OEMs are more than happy to compete with each other because the PC market is so huge, but that's not currently the case with the Android tablet market.

    In the near term, these OEMs are put into a tough spot. However, unless Amazon eventually makes its content exclusive to its own hardware, I think what Amazon is doing with the Kindle Fire will eventually help other Android OEMs out by at least getting more Android devs to start targeting the tablet form factor. If you're going to bite the bullet and make make a tablet app for the Kindle Fire, then you can easily it sell it in the Android Market to target the HTC and Samsung tablets too.

  • User profile image
    SteveRichter

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    No. Windows7 will not work on IPad hardware because IPads use an ARM processor.

    What is so hard for Microsoft to get windows to run on an ARM processor? I assume ARM has more power than the hardware that ran windows XP PCs. For a company that is all about software, Microsoft seems very slow getting its operating systems to work on the hardware on the market today.  Back in the day Microsoft had great success marketing DOS and BASIC that ran on generic hardware. Now we have windows phone 7 that only runs on a few phones. And desktop windows that does not run on ARM devices.

     

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    @Ray7: This article seems to contradict that a bit.

    While I'm sure Amazon, their low-priced tablet, and all of their content will lead to consolidation of the Android market I also believe that, as mention in the article the Guardian has a peice of the story too:

    The Guardian points out that the companies could be pulling back on resources for Android tablets as they focus on Windows 8, which will also run on tablets.

    I'm sure the PC manufacturers are worried that successful W8 tablets will cannibilize sales of traditional desktops and notebooks so they have to swing some of thier resources around to combat that front. Unfortunately with the split attention IMO they'll come out with lack luster W8 tablets. Their Android tablets will suffer from the lack of attention as well. This will only widen the gap between Apple and it's competitors.

    I hope Google's move to acquire Motorola Mobility was in part to start building a state-of-the-art version of an Android tablet that exemplifies all of Googles assets including the new music services. Like Microsoft they have a lot of peices they just need to put it all together.

  • User profile image
    davewill

    Dell Latitude ST Tablet

    http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/latitude-st/pd?refid=latitude-st&baynote_bnrank=0&baynote_irrank=0&~ck=baynoteSearch&isredir=true

    Tells me otherwise.  It has a larger screen (10.1 inch compared to 9.7 inch) than the iPad while coming in just slightly heavier at 1.8 lbs (compared to 1.5 lbs).

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    The Kindle Fire is a capable bit of hardware made great by the content integration so I can see the sense in this argument.  (Sad geek that I am).

    That said it is way to early in the day to say that the tablet wars are over when a device like the one MS gave away at BUILD can do everything a new style tablet can do as well as everything that a PC can do.  I beieve people will pay for this kind of functionality, especially if there is seemless content accross the Zune/XBOX/App situation.

    Meanwhile, who isn't going to buy a Fire at $199?

  • User profile image
    Minh

    Ian, have you found intermittent glitches in the smooth UI from time to time on the Fire?

  • User profile image
    Minh

    @davewill, I does look like that today to be successful you have to control the entire vertical stack simply because there are 2 out there doing it already.. Dell says it's for "IT Professional"... so it's guaranteed not to be successful

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , Minh wrote

    @davewill, I does look like that today to be successful you have to control the entire vertical stack simply because there are 2 out there doing it already.. Dell says it's for "IT Professional"... so it's guaranteed not to be successful

    It's a niche market, but they could do well in it. The iPad is nice, but it's not very useful for IT operations: the best you can do is get a remote desktop client on it.

    What would be cool? A tablet with a VGA input port, so you can hook it up to rackmounted servers without needing to get the KVM up or find a free console trolley (not everyone can afford those rackmounted consoles).

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , Ray7 wrote

    Not sure about that. Apple probably wouldn't care as long as it sold them an iPad. They certainly won't help you do it, but I don't see them making an effort to stop it.

    Because Apple don't mind you installing another OS on their IPhones right?

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , SteveRichter wrote

    *snip*

    What is so hard for Microsoft to get windows to run on an ARM processor? I assume ARM has more power than the hardware that ran windows XP PCs. For a company that is all about software, Microsoft seems very slow getting its operating systems to work on the hardware on the market today.  Back in the day Microsoft had great success marketing DOS and BASIC that ran on generic hardware. Now we have windows phone 7 that only runs on a few phones. And desktop windows that does not run on ARM devices.

    Believe me it's non trivial to write a new OS for a new type of processor which has different memory management, instruction set and so on.

    BASIC is a user-mode program and so just requires recompiling the existing C code. DOS never worked on generic hardware - it was always i386 processors.

  • User profile image
    Minh

    @W3bbo, I don't know why "IT Professionals" would want a tablet... as opposed to a ultra-light

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    Believe me it's non trivial to write a new OS for a new type of processor which has different memory management, instruction set and so on.

    BASIC is a user-mode program and so just requires recompiling the existing C code. DOS never worked on generic hardware - it was always i386 processors.

    x86 I believe you mean.

    NT ran on multiple architectures, I still have an NT4.0 installer for Alpha CPUs somewhere.

    And why on earth would you want Windows on an iPad? Setting the CPU aside it won't even have the right type of BIOS to boot, Windows makes certain assumptions about thing like disk layout and the facilities available (keyboard, monitor etc.) It isn't just the CPU, it's the machine architecture too.

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