You’d have to either be hiding under a rock or be the just-awakened Rip Van Winkle not to know that the tablet is taking over computing, and possibly more.
Apple hit the sweet spot with the original iPad, now in its third generation and perhaps about to hit the fourth generation. And a miniature iPad is all the rage for those who prefer a smaller screen.
Samsung, Google, and Amazon are also huge players in the tablet industry, with the Galaxy Note, Nexus, and Kindle all running Google’s Android software as rivals to Apple’s iOS.
RCA is planning an introduction later this summer of an 8-inch tablet equipped with live TV functionality (see photo), which should set it apart from others.
But there are a few brands of Android tablets you’ve probably never heard of: Eben, Texet, and Micromax, to name three. And while they may not have all of the bells and whistles of a “Retina display” iPad, these ultra-inexpensive tablets are surprisingly popular in farflung places like Shanghai, Bangalore, and Moscow – according to a report in Business Week.
FutureSource Consulting has been studying the tablet market, and notes that some of the no-name brands are available for as little as $80 a tablet – with the biggest sellers racking up shipments of a half million units last year!
So-called “local” brands account for as much as one out of four tablet sales of the 155 million tablets sold worldwide a year ago. And while that’s well below Apple’s 40% market share, the segment of “no names” is expected to grow larger because prices are going to drop even more.
Of course, that’s expected to drive lower prices for more familiar names such as tablets from HP and Acer.
Like the computer itself, the price of the tablet is likely related to the quality of the components and the functions it can perform with models like the $85 Micromax capturing 20 percent of the market in India. So if you’re only looking for basic functions, tablet makers have you in their sites!
About the Author
Dave Arland is a 22-year veteran of the consumer electronics industry, working now to promote digital satellite services and broadcast mobile TV. He played a key role in the introduction of HDTV, mp3 audio, and electronic books. He runs Arland Communications, a full-service Public Relations & Communications agency from offices in Carmel, Indiana.