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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Tablets are Coming

Is your corporate marketing, communications or eLearning ready for the impending onslaught of new mobile devices. The iPage has caused a fundamental shift in the attitude of users as to what a "computer" is. With that it has created competition in this space, and generated demand from the end user side for access to content using these new mobile formats. And the often unique user experiences of the early adopter application providers.

Here is a list of a few venders, including apple, that are "slated" to come out with iPad similar devices at the or near the end of this year.

Tablet

Operating System

Connectivity

Basic Tech Specs

Available

Apple iPad

iOS

WiFi
WiFi+3G

Bluetooth

9.7” multi-touch display

1 GHz Apple A4 processor

16/32/64 GB flash drive options (non-upgradeable)

No camera

Dock connector

No Flash player

Now

2.0 version rumored for late 2010, possibly 7” display.

AT&T network only
in U.S.

Dell Streak

Android

WiFi

3G

Bluetooth

5” multi-touch display

Qualcomm ARM 1 GHz processor

Dual cameras (front and back)

512 MB ROM + 512 MB SDRAM +
2 GB non-user accessible MicroSD for system & applications files only.

MicroSD card slot (16 GB preinstalled)

USB

Supports Flash player

Now

AT&T network only
in U.S.

Samsung Galaxy Tablet

Android

WiFi

3G

7” multi-touch display

1 GHz Cortex A8 processor

16 or 32 GB internal storage

Up to 32 GB expandable storage

2 GB RAM (one report says 512 MB RAM, and Samsung hasn’t released the actual spec)

Dual cameras (front and back)

Dock connector

Supports Flash Player

E.U. – October

U.S. – Unknown

Apparently will be available from all four telecom providers in the US.

HP Slate

Windows 7

Rumor: Windows 7 model may be for corporate sales only, with a WebOS version later for consumer sales.

WiFi

Bluetooth

3G option

8.9” multi-touch display

1.6 GHz Intel Atom Menlow Z530 processor

1 GB RAM (non-upgradeable)

32 or 64 GB flash drive

Dual cameras (front and back)

SDHC slot, USB port, SIM card slot, HDMI out, dock connector

Supports Flash Player 10.1, Adobe AIR

Early 2011 or before

Blackberry Playbook

Blackberry Tablet OS

WiFi only at release,
3G and 4G later

7” multi-touch display

1 GHz dual-core processor

1 GB RAM

Dual HD cameras (front and back)

Micro HDMI, Micro USB

Supports WebKit/HTML-5,
Adobe Flash Player 10.1,
Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, and Java

2011 (estimated)


In planning for mobile adoption in 2011, there are a few factors to take into account. To begin with, the iPad adoption rate is the fastest of any electronic device in history. Current best estimates are that as of the end of September, Apple has sold just over eight million iPads. Educational institutions, including K-12 education, are investing heavily in iPads. The early money was on Apple’s iPad, but that’s not a guarantee for 2011.

Android smart phones are selling even faster than iPads; Android is now the biggest smart-phone platform in the U.S., and the third biggest worldwide. Of course, there are many models of Android phones, and there is no guarantee that all of them will be compatible with each other’s apps. It is worth noting that, just as the Apple iPad stood on the shoulders of iPhone sales, Android tablets could well gain great momentum based on the popularity of the Android phones.

And in the meantime, Blackberry still has the largest share of the mobile market in the U.S., particularly in the corporate arena. To complicate things further, Motorola and Verizon have just announced the Droid Pro for November release, a Blackberry-like phone that includes a very good keyboard, an excellent form factor, and a robust feature set.

In other words, unless your organization has already made a decision about which platforms (tablets, mobile phones, and operating system) it will support, your guess is as good as mine which platform will most likely demand attention in your world next year. In any case, you can be sure that you will experience pressure from consumers, clients, employees, and managers to provide content in mobile format for corporate communications, marketing, performance support, reference materials, and learning.




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