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Are Tablets The Next Big Thing?

Updated on May 12, 2010
A Potential Google Tablet
A Potential Google Tablet

We've all probably heard about it by now: the device that is aiming to change an entire industry and create a market of its own. It is the iPad. But has Apple created a niche device that appeals to fanboys but fails to grab the attention of the general public? In part, yes. But on a deeper level, Apple is slowly creating a market where none previously existed. As it has been said before, Apple does not merely create devices to match a growing trend. Instead, it creates devices that consumers may need, but for which a market doesn't currently exist.

When the iPhone was first coming out, a smartphone was generally a new idea. Since its release, the iPhone has garnered millions of customers, and it is impossible to walk down a busy street and not see one of the shiny devices. In terms of the iPad, Apple is hoping to recreate this success. While tablet computers have been invented before, never has the industry seen such widespread adoption of a tablet as it has since the iPad was released.

The first people to purchase the iPad were almost entirely fanboys. These are the kind of people who will wait in line for a lifetime at an Apple store just to get their hands on a new device. But hundreds of thousands of iPads have been sold since then. So obviously it's not just fanboys who want to own this device. In part, Apple has created a market for consumers to buy into; they have convinced them that the tablet computer is the next big wave of technological advance for the future. And people have bought into this idea.

Now that Apple has established success with the conception of the iPad, other companies will naturally follow in their lead. Like all devices, it cannot exist on its own without competition. And that is where Google comes into play. Rumors have been spreading that they are working on an Android-powered device with Verizon. The full article is located at CNN Tech here.

The future of tablet devices is almost certainly bright. With the introduction of these devices, consumers are effectively creating a new subset of computers - not quite a netbook, but not a mobile phone either. Expect to see several more tablets available before the end of the year. I predict that, while they may never see the same market share as smartphones, they will certainly become a populous accessory for those that can afford the hefty price tag. Tablets provide an excellent way to manage our digital lives on the go, without carrying a full size computer. So, are tablets the next big thing? Probably. But they most likely won't be as big as previous "next big things." Only the future will tell.


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