When the first computers were made, their developers said that there would not be a public demand for these machines. As the years went by, the demand for computers rose and now it is not unusual for families to have two or three computers in a house. When computers became faster and more efficient, more variety in devices were developed based on the computer. Now smart phones and laptops are the first sources of information for people on the move and this trend shows no signs of slowing. Not too long ago the first tablet computers hit the market and were actually unsuccessful. The tablet computer was deemed a failure until the Apple iPad came out and revolutionized the industry.
The iPad did everything right in a field that was criticized by everyone. With its high-resolution screen, multi touch display and quick processor, the iPad captivated people everywhere. On its opening day, Apple sold 300,000 iPads while after the first month of the iPhone being released; only 146,000 were tallied on AT&T. While the iPhone did become one of the highest selling smart phones of all time, the iPad had much better success initially than the iPhone.
Ever since the iPad gained its footing with consumers, other companies tried to follow in their footsteps by rapidly releasing their own answers to the iPad. These tablets were generally of lower quality than the iPad and none of them were able to take down Apple’s most recent success.
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Motorola released their rival to the iPad, the Xoom. This newest addition to the tablet industry has a lot of promise and should be able to match, if not exceed, all of the features the iPad offers. The Xoom is the first tablet computer to take advantage of dual-core processors and Google’s Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb) software that was designed specifically for use by a tablet computer which, in theory, means it should run smoother and more efficiently than software in rival tablets. The Xoom has the same dimensions as the iPad but features front and rear facing cameras that allow for both picture/video capture and video chatting. Since this tablet runs on Android software, Adobe Flash Player is able to run on it, unlike the iPad. Along with running a flash player, the tablet can also download third party software which also isn’t supported by the iPad. There has been great controversy over Steve Jobs not allowing iPhone and iPad users to have a flash player on their device or download third party software, so for many users Android was a breath of fresh air. Also, the Xoom won the award for best tablet computer at the Consumer Electronics Show.
So does this mean the death of Apple’s monster tablet? I wouldn’t go that far quite yet. Personally, I like the freedom of the Android operating system and the speed of a tablet with dual-core processors should definitely be noticeable, but Apple still has the edge. First of all they have name recognition on their side. Let’s be honest, who hasn’t heard of Apple and their revolutionary products? Also, they have ease of use. What many consumers want in a tablet is the ability to pick it up and quickly search something on the internet or do something quickly so that they don’t have to boot up their desktop. Apple seems to understand how to make software easy to understand and we won’t know what users think of Honeycomb until the Xoom has been on the market longer. The iOS software is one of the most intuitive operating systems that I’ve used and people want to be able to use their new device right out of the box, with no learning curve to conquer.
There is no way to tell where this industry is heading and in no way is the Xoom the only tablet that could rival the iPad; it is simply one of the most popular alternatives to the iPad. Overall, I think the Xoom is a great alternative to the iPad and could possibly dethrone Apple’s reign over the tablet industry.