Nick Bilton of the New York Times points out in a post on the Bits blog today that 2010 was not the year of the tablet, as he’d predicted at the end of last year, but the year of the iPad. While there were many tablets slated for 2010 release, only Apple brought theirs to market in a big way, making 2010 the year of one product, not a product category.
Here’s more from the post:
So what happened to the year of the tablet? The answer is simple: The iPad. Apple offered a slate-like computer that incorporated its perfected iTunes app experience, at the right price point, and with an intuitive interface that helped the company quickly sell millions of its newfangled device.
As we move into 2011, the murmurs coming out of the next Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas all have to do with tablets again. There will be Microsoft tablets, Hewlett-Packard slates and a number of devices running the Google Android platform. All hope to take on Apple. And so we’re looking at another Year of the Tablet.
Bilton is betting on Google–or on other companies’ devices running Google’s Android OS–as the most likely threat to Apple. But, he says, “[c]ompanies that hope to compete with Apple will most likely fail — as many have done before — if they try to entice consumers by offering devices with extra peripherals, larger screens and other technical upgrades.”
We’ll see. There are likely to be a lot of iPads under Christmas trees this Saturday, leaving less room in people’s homes for as-yet-unreleased competitors.