Apple has been a company known to innovate in niche markets. They did it for MP3 players with the iPod, and again for the smartphone market with the iPhone. And now they’re turning their sights on mobile computing as they introduce their new wonder device, the unfortunately named, iPad.
But the release of a new Apple product doesn’t come without its woes. On one side you’ve got the Apple fanatics who worship Steve Jobs like Christ’s second coming, and would be willing enough to part with hard earned dollars just to try out Apple’s latest gadgets. And on the other side, you’ve got cautious buyers and tech experts who find Apple’s devices a bit lacking on technical features. They aren’t quick to accept Steve Job’s words as gospel truth.
But wherever you may side on the Apple debate, you can’t deny the company’s influence, particularly in steering the tech industry’s attention to its chosen endeavors. Ever since Apple came out with the iPad, the whole industry has been turning its eye towards tablet computing. And with good reason: the iPad has sold more than 3 million units since its launch.
Now we’ve got companies like HP and Best Buy wanting a slice of Apple’s pie by coming out with their own brand of iPad-killers. First of the bunch is the HP Zeen. Now there has been no official press release from HP regarding this mystery product. But details have been unearthed from FCC filings made by the company.
Multiple sources have confirmed that the HP Zeen is an Android-based tablet that focuses on e-reading and has the ability to directly connect to an HP printer without the need for a computer. There are a myriad of rumors surrounding this device. But whatever the final specs may be, I think there’s enough proof to say that this exists, and that HP is definitely working on it. And that in itself is newsworthy enough.
Also consider the fact that this could be a separate entity from their other tablet PC, the HP Slate, with Windows 7 in mind. So that means that HP is working on not only one but at least two potential iPad-killers.
Best Buy on the other hand, are also coming up with their own tablet, the Rocketfish. Best Buy CTO and Geek Squad founder, Robert Stephens has been tweeting about the device. It is also said to be running a version of Android 2.2. Pictures of the tablet show that it is slightly smaller than the iPad.
No hardware specs have yet been released for the device, and it probably hasn’t left the prototype stage. This early leak must be some sort of viral marketing to create some early buzz for the product.
The iPad virtually created the tablet PC market and now, HP and Best Buy are planning to be major players in it as well. Nothing bad ever came out with a little healthy competition and ultimately, with a variety of solid choices, it is the consumers who would come out as the winners.