©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
Remember netbooks? Exactly. Two years ago netbooks could do no wrong. They were the future, a way to get work done on the go on a laptop the size of a paperback book. In the end, manufacturers saw them as a great way to squeeze profit out of a moribund product line. Sadly, I fear that’s where we’re headed in the tablet market.
For a long time it was a few horse race. Motorola, Apple, and Samsung were pumping out top-of-the-line tablets and selling them at a premium, because that’s what the market could support. However, with the launch of the $199 Kindle Fire, and more recently the Nexus 7, the floodgates will soon open, driving down prices, quality, and value.
Here’s the pattern: a product group becomes popular. Major players make comparatively expensive products with good QA and designs. Early adopters gobble them up, then there’s a brief period of popular adoption. Then everyone who was going to buy a tablet has a tablet. Positions are taken regarding the various advantages of each type. Flame wars are fought….Then people stop caring.