Steve Jobs predicted that 2011 would be the ‘Year of the Copycats’ in the tablet arena. He got that mostly right, as many potential competitors did their best to produce tablets that were very similar to the iPad.
Now that 2011 is drawing to a close, it’s clear that it would have been more accurate to call this year the Year of the Failed Copycats. All of the tablets that were touted as iPad rivals early this year have fallen flat. The Xoom’s sales have been tiny, the TouchPad was discontinued very soon after hitting the market, the Blackberry PlayBook has received horrendous reviews, seen terrible sales, and many expect it to be killed off soon.
This week CNN posted their list of the Top Ten Tech ‘Fails’ of 2011. Included on the list are ‘The Other Tablets’.
As 2011 dawned, it appeared that Apple had created a thriving new space in personal computing with its iPad.
Beginning in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, a host of competing companies stepped forward with their rival tablets. The Motorola Xoom. BlackBerry’s PlayBook. Samsung Galaxy Tab. The HP TouchPad.
One problem: Nobody bought them.
The CNN article points out that late in 2011 the Kindle Fire had emerged as one tablet that ‘may have cracked the code’. The Fire has a high profile and it looks like some good sales numbers – but I’ve used a Fire for 3 weeks and I can say it’s nothing like an iPad.
Hopefully 2012 will bring better competition for the iPad and some stronger rivals, with more to offer than the Kindle Fire.