MANILA, Philippines - It has only been two months since the Apple iPad debuted in the market, yet here come its competitors, the iPad killers.
More than 2 million units of the iPad have been sold so far in spite of speculations on whether the public would prefer a touchscreen tablet computer to a netbook that can be bought at the same price, or even be cheaper.
According to business analysts, sales of the iPad will still go up since aside from the US, the tablet computer is officially sold only in 8 countries. Analysts estimate sales of iPad to reach 8 million units before the year 2010 ends as it becomes available in more countries.
Because of the public's response to the iPad, manufacturers of netbooks have come up with their own tablet devices.
At the Computex Show in Taiwan, Asus, Acer, LG and MSI announced their new tablet computer products.
Asus, which is popular for its cheap netbook which it introduced in 2008, now has a 10-inch and 12-inch tablet computer. The EeePad runs on the Windows 7 operating system, has a 2 megapixel camera, and can play high definition videos. It also has an optional keyboard dock which will make the EeePad work like a laptop.
Asus EeePad's 10-inch model will cost from P18,000 to P22,000.
MSI, which came out with the popular MSI Wind netbook, introduced its MSI Windpad. It also comes in 10-inch size and has HDMI out, a 1.66 ghz Intel Atom processor, 3G capability, and 8-hour battery life.
Laptop maker Acer has a 7-inch tablet computer with 3G compatibility. No details about the specs and price were given.
LG showed off its UX10 tablet computer with a 10-inch touchscreen, Intel Atom processor, 1.3 mp camera and SD card slot.
For those who still want a touchscreen tablet computer on a smaller budget, iPed is the answer. The China-made unbranded iPed only costs $150 or around P7,000. It will run on the Android operating system.
|iPed: the budget-friendly touchscreen tablet computer only costs $150. Credit: Ozcarguide.com
According to IT consultant and tech blogger Abe Olandres, it seems that heavyweight brands are still waiting for the right time to pursue their tablet projects.
Referring to the Apple iPad, Olandres said, "People were expecting na bebenta lang sila around 500,000 to 800,000, but look, it's now in the millions. They were also surprised na ganito kalaki pala yung demand sa market for something that does not exist before."
Most of the iPad challengers use Google Android or Windows 7 operating systems.
Microsoft is excited at the support they can give the tablet market. The new Windows 7 suits the touchscreen tablet computers better than the old Windows operating system.
"Windows 7 was made for future uses also, so it is very compatible with the touchscreen tablets at well," said the company.
The Apple iPad will be sold in the Philippines in July or August. Other tablet computers may be sold in the country starting October. -- Report from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News.