Tablets are the new battleground in the high-tech industry. ARM is battling Intel Corp. and AMD for the processors powering tablets; Google, Microsoft and Intel/Nokia (MeeGo) are battling for the operating system (OS) and applications platform; and all the ODMs and OEMs are battling against each other. Although all these battles are important, the battle for the OS will likely be the most defining for the future of the platform.
According to In-Stat market research firm, the outcome of the OS battle for tablets may have a profound effect on the high-tech industry going forward. The outcome of this battle will also determine the winners in the other battles. In regard to the processors, the Intel CULV processors are tied to the Windows 7 platform, the Intel Atom processor is heavily tied to both Windows and MeeGo platforms, whereas the ARM processors are tied to both Apple’s platform and Google’s Android and Chrome platforms.
“Will we finally see an open source, or as close to an open-source solution as reasonably possible while still having consistent standards, finally emerge or will tablets fall into the proprietary trap that have befallen earlier platforms?” analysts from In-Stat ask.
At present the most successful supplier of slate-type PCs is Apple with its iPad. A dominant position by the Apple OS could result in a similar dominant position like that which Apple enjoys in the portable media player (PMP) market with the iPod. As a result, other ODMs and OEMs are hedging their bets by supporting multiple tablet platforms to compete against Apple as well as each others.
With Apple already shipping over two million iPads into the market and expanding globally, the race is on to see how high the tablet market will grow and who will emerge the victors of this new high-tech category. In addition, the outcome of the battle for the tablets may well spill over into other market like home entertainment, automotive solutions, and embedded applications, which are being targeted by similar platforms.