Monday, July 5, 2010

How Can PC Manufacturers Compete With The iPad?

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Although Apple's iPad isn't the first attempt to create a segment of tablet computers within the computer industry, but so far it's been the most successful to date.  With over two million iPads sold in just a few months since the introduction of the iPad, manufacturers of Windows PC's haven't even come close to selling a tablet computer that can come close to what the iPad can do.  Is there anything PC manufacturers can do to get back into a game that so far they haven't even shown up to play yet?

1. Ditch Microsoft:  So far the big boys from Redmond the only operating system for a tablet computer they have ever shipped was a version of Windows XP modified to be controlled by a stylus instead of a mouse and a keyboard.  The sign that big M will be on the outside looking in is Hewlett Packard's purchase of Palm and rumours of a WebOS based tablet abound.  Google's Android is another leading choice for an operating system for a tablet computer.

2. Let Users Choose Their 3G/4G Provider:  While the iPad is great for AT&T it may not be so great for those who subscribe to AT&T's competitors.  Any competing tablet computer had some kind of capability to insert a 3G or 4G modem into some kind of special slot would be an attractive feature for those who have aversion to AT&T.

3. Break down the Price Barrier:  The iPad is a hot trendy gadget it also has a price tag to match.  Smaller price tags have kept Windows PC's sales far and beyond Apple's Macintosh computers.  PC manufacturers may be able to use price to steer people looking to buy an iPad to their products, but that won't be a guarantee of success.  There are hundreds of models of MP3 players that are priced at a fraction of comparable iPod, but it's the iPods that remain the top selling portable music player.

4.  Cash in on iPad's short comings:  There are some who are still complaining about the features that the iPad lacks.  If any potential iPad competitors come out with a 16:9 display or printing support, it will at least will appeal to the complainers. 

Apple's iPad has been successful where others have tried and failed but Apple doesn't own the tablet computer market yet.  There is still time for competitors make their mark on the industry but in order to do so they have to get it right given how huge a head start that the iPad has.

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