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Tablet Sector: All Flowers Bloom?

September 6th, 2012 by DVDFab_Malcolm 12,606 views


It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.


— Charles Darwin


Look at the current situation in tablet market: iPad continues to make very remarkable sales around the globe, but not the way as it used to be, as this camp has got strong competitors. One of the world largest manufacturers of consumer electronics by market share, Samsung Corporation, has delivered a series of tablets, Galaxy Tab, which have posed a strong threat on the envious ascending market share made by iPad. Still, there are others. Kindle Fire from Amazon, the world’s top online retailer, Nexus 7 from Google Inc, the world’s leading searching engine producer, Surface from software giant, Microsoft, Apple’s friend and enemy, LePad series from Chinese PC tycoon Lenovo, and many other cheap knockoffs made by tens of thousands of local Chinese Shanzhai companies. And there are still more on the way, rumors say that NOKIA will introduce a new tablet running Windows 8, and Hewllet-Packard has made its decision to reenter the tablet PC arena after an announcement of dropping its WebOS based TouchPad business not very long ago, but, the difference is that, this time, Hewllet-Packard will take up Windows 8 as its new tablet platform.


One word: chaotic, isn’t it?


Zoom in the lens, and it’s quite easy to find that the tablet PC sector has developed into three major kingdoms, Apple magnate with its own all-in-one iOS ecosystem, Android kingdom co-chaired by Google and Samsung and followed by a group of other supporters, Windows kingdom leading by Microsoft and several other risk challengers who see a potential bright future of Windows 8 on tablet.


Who Can Laugh to the Last


As to the wars among these three kingdoms, they not only compete externally among kingdoms as a whole, but also go against each other internally within a kingdom, with the only exception to Apple.


External War: Speaking from the point of operating system, they fight externally. Who will laugh to the last, iOS, Android or Windows 8? As we all know, iOS is a great mobile operating system with many astounding features, it cares about user experience and always put that on top priority, which is a deeply rooted concept in Apple’s blood. That’s why it successfully captured billions of followers’ hearts. And what’s more, iOS has nurtured a huge app garden filled by millions of apps. In contrast, Android app marketplace does not have this advantage. As to the newbie Windows 8, although several manufacturers have claimed that they will roll out compatible tablets carrying this highly anticipated freshman, many still hold a wait-and-see attitude, because they are worrying about whether the existing apps written for Windows 7 can run smoothly on the framework of Windows 8, on a much smaller screen. So, in the short run, iOS still get an overwhelming advantage.


Internal War: Behind one same kingdom wall, there are invisible wars deep inside. Manufacturers from Android kingdom are going against each other. Same thing happens to Windows 8 folks. To some extent, internal war will go fiercer than the external war, as they have a basically same framework, despite the fact of the slightly different forked versions of Android of their own. But, that difference is not distinctive. So, they have to compete against each other in levels of hardware configuration, device shape, device size, and after sales support etc. This phenomenon is called cannibalization in biological term, which in a much simpler context, means that individuals of one same species killing each other for surviving. Here are living examples in each kingdom: Google’s Nexus 7 versus Amazon’s Kindle Fire, or Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, Surface from Microsoft versus 700T1A from Samsung, or Lumia Tablet from NOKIA (coming soon).


From an economist’s perspective, the fiercer the competitions among manufacturers, the better for end users, because it will bring the price tag down but drive the quality and service up. While in the long run, people may not want to see a total overtaken of one kingdom by another, as a single dominated market brings no good to customers, either. On the other hand, taste varies from one consumer to another, and they need more choices to choose from.


Then, let all flowers bloom.

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