Remember my previous post "Tablets are very nice devices, but still gadgets" last December.
Well Since, Apple has released their iPad 2 and have made a huge success, with 1 million devices sold on first week-end (see article from Reuters for example) and a total of 2.5 million devices for March. One analayst was finally coming to a good conclusion when writting "company's [Apple] rivals are likely to have a tough time attracting customers"
Two things happened:
1. Apple did very well anticipate on the launch of competing tablets and new the flaws of its first version that would have made consumers eventually change to competitors. iPad 2 virtually fixed most important ones (video for example).
2. Apple was thus, again, first on the market and grabbed all those savvy consumers who are willing to spend extra on this gadget (because I still call it a gadget). The price was a very important, and wise, decision.
Indeed, there are only so many consumers willing to spend $499 bucks or higher on a tablet. Once iPad is out, well, not many consumers left for the competitors.
Then another thing is about to happen: Samsung is about to drop the price of its Galaxy Tab to $350 USD on April 10th according to this source. That's a smart move, but they will have to do massive advertisment on this to ensure that price does become a compelling argument vs. the iPad 2!!
It's true that they have managed to sell 2 Million devices in Q4 2010, versus 7.3 for the iPad 1 (which is behind, technologically, from the Tab!!), which is quite a nice performance comparetively (to the Xoom for example).
Indeed, many tablets are currently selling below that price, I'm thinking Archos, ViewSonic, etc; how about the sales of those?
As far as I'm concerned, the market size is still much more limited than one could think; and unless they really go beyond a mere entertainment gadget with a business application approach, well, it will still be a niche market. But a market of wealthy people (or people willign to spend big bucks, true).
So people, be more creative, think "outside the box", tablets can be used for other things than watching movies and surfing on the web....