By Ed Oswald | Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm
God knows hardware makers have been falling over each other lately in an effort to get their own tablets in front of us. The iPad showed that there was a market for these things. By some counts, over 100 different tablets showed up at CES, and this week at least 50 models were on display at Computex in Taipei. That adds up to a whole lotta tablets!
The market may turn out to be big, but it won’t be big enough for all these copycats to be successful. JP Morgan research analyst Mark Moskowitz is now saying that these folks are finally getting a clue. He claims that “build plans” — in plain English, companies’ planned manufacturing schedules — have shown a decrease in output of 10 percent.
He calls this “an early dose of reality.” Gadget makers seem to finally be getting the point that consumers are not just going to run out and buy a tablet — they’re looking for specific features, even specific brands — and not just any also-ran will do.
What we will likely see — and Mark and I have both said before — is a bubble which will eventually burst. Don’t be surprised if come Black Friday, a lot of those doorbusters are these tablets that Moskowitz is talking about. Its simple: very few of these gizmos have any chance of success.
Maybe this is good for us consumers: we might be able to pick up a cheap tablet real soon. At the same time, I worry that the experience could be subpar, possibly souring the less technological among us on a category that shows so much potential.
Unfortunately, when the market is flooded with cheap versions of a product, consumers flock to it. They then seemingly don’t understand you get what you pay for, and shy away from better quality devices because of price. That hurts everybody.