Tablets In Court – Continued

As for your “Apple is killing the [tablet] marketplace”, as companies like Palm/HP and RIM are showing: there’s plenty of competition that’s doing fine without toe-ing the copying line.

~ Comment by reader Azijn

Not so much, it seems.

HP have thrown in the towel, after their tablet being on the market for an astonishingly brief three weeks. The world’s largest computer manufacturer doesn’t think it can make its money back on tablets. What chance does a relative minnow like RIM have?

Both HP’s WebOS and RIM’s QNX are – or were – really interesting and attractive operating systems, and it’s true that they’re arguably a lot less similar to Apple’s iOS than Android is. (Though it has been argued by some that they’re a little bit too similar to each other.) But it’s immaterial; only Android has the ecosystem of apps to compete with iOS. For the foreseeable future, there is no other realistic alternative to the iPad.

Samsung have clearly being sailing close to the legal wind – in part perhaps to establish just what can and can’t be copyrighted. It’s interesting legally because many of the laws being invoked by Apple were designed to prevent counterfeiting or passing-off of fake goods. Now clearly Samsung are not passing-off. Their products say ‘Samsung’ on the front in large letters. But they know that Apple have managed to create an aura of sexiness around their products. Is the iPhone the ideal size and shape? Is it the most beautiful design possible? It doesn’t matter; people now want something that looks like that. So to compete, it may be necessary to look as similar as you legally can. Perhaps Samsung will argue in court that consumer electronics is more like the fashion industry now.

But I would be happier to see companies attempting to innovate with Android instead. HTC have tried of course, but for sheer inventive madness I think you have to hand it to their neighbours Asus.


5 thoughts on “Tablets In Court – Continued

  1. Hah, I blew that one!

    Gotta say though, that HP’s move came as a thunderbolt during a clear sky, blindsiding the market. Seeing how the remaining TouchPads sold out in no time after the dramatic price drop, shows there was not too much wrong with the product and that it’s Palm/HP’s strategy that’s failed. Or rather, that Palm failed in marketing and HP under Leo Apotheker simply gave up or never was interested anyway. RIM is facing similar problems in their marketing and management.


  2. It’s a real shame, but I had a bad feeling about it all along. The effort for WebOS seemed so half-hearted. One minute they’re talking excitingly about WebOS even on laptop and desktop to challenge Microsoft head-on, the next they produce a device that didn’t even have an app to edit Office documents.

    Nor was it ready to take on the iPad. Everyone liked WebOS, but it simply didn’t work well (yet), even on formidable hardware. From PC Pro (UK):

    It has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, but at times it doesn’t show it. A SunSpider JavaScript test time of 4,036ms is almost twice that of the iPad 2 and Asus Eee Pad Transformer, and although the webOS browser does support Flash, it struggled and slowed when faced with many popular sites that use it. The BBC homepage loaded in seven seconds, scrolling the browser was often a jerky experience, and the whole thing took 1min 7secs to boot.

    Jerky scrolling on a tablet device? Cardinal sin. Combine that with a plasticky-feeling chassis, and you have a product that, well, sold quickly at $99.


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