No “iPad Killers” at CES 2012

No “iPad Killers” at CES 2012

Even as Apple is absent from the Consumer Electronics Show, the iPad still casts it’s long shadow over the show. Hardware makers have announced a handful of new tablets, all running Google’s Android, in all shapes and sizes. But, a report says, no iPad killers have as of yet shown their screens.

Eric Zeman of InformationWeek reports:

Of the tablets announced so far, perhaps the best is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7. This Android-based machine is bound for Verizon’s LTE 4G network in the coming weeks. It has a small 7.7-inch display and is just 7.9 mm thick. It is light at only 340 grams (0.75 pounds), and includes a dual-core 1.4-GHz processor. Although it will ship with Android 3.2 Honeycomb and not Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Samsung’s partnership with Verizon Wireless on the device gives it a little bit of a competitive advantage. Why? Verizon will offer it at a subsidized price in order to gain data customers.

Of the other tablets announced at the show, the Pantech Element is the other with a solid shot at adoption. The reason is its distribution deal with AT&T. The device will be sold by AT&T for a low price of $299. The Element can access AT&T’s LTE 4G network and it is waterproof with an IP-57 rating, meaning it can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The Element runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb and includes a crisp 8-inch, 1024-pixel-by-768-pixel screen, front- and rear-facing cameras, and a rich Web experience with full HTML and PC-like tabbed browsing.

He says that while the rest of the tablets seem to be worthwhile entries, none of them are likely to gain much traction in the U.S. market.

“First, distribution deals with U.S. network operators is key for gaining mind share in the crowded tablet space. Without them, buyers have to discover also-rans on their own. The prices don’t help. Although the Pantech Element is a relatively inexpensive $299, many of the rest are priced close to $400 or more. Finally, they run a mix of Android 3.2 and Android 4.0. For whatever reason, the Android experience on tablets lags that of phones.”

He closes by saying, “Apple’s iPad is a juggernaut in the tablet space, and this year, serious competitors failed to show up at all. “