lovehate: Did Microsoft and HP just kill the iPad?

Over the past week many of the "tech" blogs have been all abuzz over the fact that Microsoft discontinued its Courier tablet device and HP discontinued its Slate tablet device. And the general idea is that, due to the iPad's unbelievable success, Microsoft and HP have decided they cannot compete.

Perhaps, however, they are sharing the most brilliant piece of anti-Apple strategy in the past decade.

The fact that both companies announced their discontinuation within a day cannot be coincidence. While both companies obviously acknowledge that Apple got their "next-gen" tablet to market first and has captured the early-adopter market share, this alone would not be a reason to withdraw.

While the basic tenet of competition breeding innovation generally holds true, what happens when there is not a glut of tablets on the market like everyone predicted at CES? If the market doesn't become about tablets filling up the aisles and virtual aisles for the rest of the year, how many people are going to feel like they're missing them? It becomes harder for Apple to market themselves as a "premium" device when they are the ONLY device.

Have Microsoft and HP effectively killed the long-term future of the iPad by not feeding into the market? The historical pre-iPad rhetoric about tablet computers was that nobody really needed one. By jumping into the fray, HP and MS would validate that not only is the format viable, but that it is necessary. When thinking back to the Lenovo hybrid laptop/tablet that looked so cool at CES, I wonder why anyone who is not an Apple devotee would choose to buy a crippled limited device when a fully-functional laptop can be had for the same price? 

Instead of tablets, don't be surprised to see lighter laptops with rotating touchscreens at a $499 price point and, guess what, there are "apps for that", including everything you currently have on your computer. And these will all be "laptops" or "hybrids", but they will avoid the tablet moniker like the plague.

The initial wave of iPad sales has run its course. iPhones continue to hold market share because the market has demanded everyone own a mobile device, and if one has to have one, why not adopt the status symbol that is the iPhone? At this point, if anyone stayed out of the cell phone market, the evolution of demand for the devices would ensure multiple manufacturers filling in the void.

The tablet market has not been proven yet, but given every big supplier throwing their hat in the ring with advertising blitzes a-plenty, a demand would start to be created by playing one against the other. While certainly not without risk, a concerted decision by Apple's competitors to leave them completely alone in the tablet market could very well be the iPad killer.

After all, how many people bought a Segway?

Podcast 123 - What's So Funny About Grease, Blood, and Countermanding?

Perpetuating new levels of idiocy in ranting about "Tasting the Awesome", being duped by "Officiality", renaming the "iPad" into something more realistic, and how James Earl Jones scared the shit out of me as a child, long before he was ever the voice of Vader.

Plus this is episode 123, which carries the numerological value of 6, which is the number Patrick McGoohan's character was in the Prisoner when he heard "I am Number Two", and he asked "Who is Number One"... I am sooo tasting the awesome right now.

thinglets: 40 Rejected Names for the iPad

  1. iThink
  2. iBlow
  3. iSuck
  4. iTabloid
  5. iReally?
  6. iCrap
  7. iMad
  8. iAvatar
  9. iSeeDeadPeople
  10. iWonder
  11. iAmIronMan2
  12. iRobot
  13. iDon'tGetIt
  14. iWon'tBuyIt, 
  15. iSpy
  16. iTouchMyself
  17. iFlat
  18. iHave$800BurningAHoleInMyPocket
  19. iThoughtItWouldBeCooler
  20. iLikeLenovoBetter
  21. iCan'tExplain
  22. iGotJobbed
  23. iWastedBandwidthWatchingThis
  24. iCan'tBelieveIt'sNotButter
  25. iCame
  26. iSaw
  27. iConquered
  28. iKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer
  29. iCameFromAChineseSuperFactory
  30. iStartedAJoke
  31. iGotYou
  32. iCan'tBelieveTheyFellForIt
  33. iHaveADream
  34. iGlass
  35. iSurf
  36. iRead
  37. iShakeMyHeadInDisbelief
  38. iMeMine
  39. iTouchMaxiPad
  40. iHaveBuyer'sRemorse