Imitation is the highest form of flattery, but come on, this whole tablet craze has gone too far.
What I find funny is that the PC companies — namely Microsoft and HP — abandoned their tablet projects once the iPad was imminent and proved to be a huge success, but it’s the communications companies that have a hard time letting go.
I’m not saying that the iPad is the end-all of all tablet devices. No, let’s hope not. I do want to see competing devices from Microsoft and HP (especially using the recently acquired Palm webOS). These are the companies that have been in the computing business for decades and have a clue about these devices.
But for companies like Avaya, RIM, and Cisco to venture into the tablet alternate universe is not productive. In fact, I dare say that it’s more of a marketing ploy than anything else — generate buzz, ride the iPad’s coattails, show ’em we’re hip. After all, it’s not too hard to make one these days: source the cheap hardware from China, slap on the OS (be in Android, Windows, or Blackberry), and announce it to the world.
But guess what? There won’t be companies lining up to buy one of these babies.
You should know better, guys. And I’m not talking about not challenging Apple because you are targeting business users. I’m talking about your denial that communications today is more about applications than about the device. Leave the device to the likes of Apple, Microsoft, HP, and IBM to design and make. You are supposed to be leaders in the communications biz, but why am I still carrying an iPhone and a Blackberry and still staring at my ugly desk phone? Now you also want me to carry your tablet?
We’re all accustomed to the fact that audio capabilities aren’t limited to phones anymore. A lot of the emphasis on these new tablets are about video capabilities, but this is 2010 and we also know that smartphones have the horsepower for video, too. So really, is there the need for a business tablet?
So here’s my advice: Abandon your tablet projects and hire more developers and UI experts to focus on applications. If you insist on a tablet, then OEM it from somebody who knows it better than you. Partner with the tablet makers to ensure your app is well-designed for their device. But for the sake of business please stop it with the tablet business.