Skip to Content
Uncategorized

SXSW: Tablets will Become Ubiquitous when the Xoom Becomes Obsolete

The second generation of iPad rivals will push tablets to places they’ve never gone before.
March 16, 2011

During my two days at the South by Southwest festival I’ve rarely been more than arms reach from a brand new iPad 2. The high density of extra early adopters ensured that the distinctive sound of the tablet’s magnetic cover (see video) rang constantly in my ears.

But out there in the real world, tablets are still rare. The first packing Google’s tablet-ezed version of its Android operating system, the Motorola Xoom, seems unlikely to change that. Its $800 price tag will likely restrict is users to the relatively well heeled people this survey suggests are users of the iPad.

I heard a good prediction of when we will reach the tipping point that will see that change at a panel today on the battle between Apple and Google’s mobile technologies. Tablets will surge towards ubiquity, said Will Sullivan, who researches mobile web use for journalism at the University of Missouri, “once the Xoom becomes obsolete.”

That tablet’s price is simply too high to push tablets into new, less rich corners of society. But once it is one upped by better equipped Android tablets late this year, that $800 price tag will be ripped away and tablet prices will start dropping.

We’ve seen that happen with smart phones. Android phones are now as cheap as $50 with a two year contract, a price point the now-outdated iPhone 3GS has also fallen to. Arguably the price drop process will happen faster with tablets because the iPad’s rivals are at less of a standing start than mobile companies were when the iPhone appeared: Google now got the operating system in place and just needs hardware to put it on.

It is when tablets start dipping into less premium markets, added Sullivan, that they will have a real impact on the way we use computing, and start to eat away at the wider computing industry: “Casual consumers will find you can do video chat, gaming and think maybe they don’t need a laptop anymore.”

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.