The iPad wasn't the first tablet available, but it has far and away been the most commercially successful model. This has prompted others to get tablets out the door as soon as possible hoping to ride the coattails of the iPad to riches.The iPad has moved around 14 million units in 2010, which isn't bad for only being on the market for 10 months. You can get them in many stores and from carriers like AT&T and Verizon.
Its primary competition this holiday season has been the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which is powered by Android. Analyst Brian Blair from Wedge Partners called the competition junk, which really doesn't leave any room for misinterpretation. All Things Digital quoted from Mr. Blair's notes to his clients this week, presumably Apple shareholders.
"Even with a handful of tablet competitors hitting the market, the iPad remained the only game in town in our holiday checks largely because many of the tablets hitting the market are junk for lack of a better word," he wrote. "They are underpowered, poorly constructed and largely not ready for prime time."
We should be seeing RIM's new PlayBook tablet soon and HP will be releasing a WebOS based tablet too. RIM's tablet though, may be delayed. Right now its battery life is borderline pathetic compared to the iPad according to info from Boy Genius Report. The iPad is rated at 10 hours of usage and the Galaxy Tab should get close to 6. The PlayBook is getting just a "few hours." The device doesn't look as nice nor feel as light when you have the power-brick Velcroed to the back to you can frequently recharge it.
It is like the iPod all over again. Many copied and none came remotely close to taking substantial share away from Apple. Will the iPad follow the same course for a few years, or do you think someone will get it right and strike a chord with consumers?