Today I took a brief break from my family vacation to visit Vizio’s and Oakley’s headquarters down in Southern California with my friends Marc Ostrick and Sam Levin to get up to date on the latest 3D technologies from both companies. But while there Vizio pulled out their new Tablet and it shocked me what I thought of it (I’ve hated the Android tablets so far, when compared to iPad 2).
I finally had someone explain to me why Android will gain huge marketshare this year in the large-screen tablet wars (aka where iPad is dominant). It took USA’s #1 TV manufacturer, Vizio, to do it. Why didn’t Google have them on stage to show this off a few weeks back at Google IO?
Anyway, here it is: a $350 capable tablet is coming. Coming in July, they told me (and I believe them, they don’t want to piss off the retail chain in the United States because they are #1 in large screen TVs).
Why is this huge? Because it doesn’t compete with iPad. At least not head on.
“What is Scoble smoking,” you are probably asking yourself.
Well, see, people who will buy an iPad will buy an iPad and won’t buy anything else. Count me in that group. I don’t care if Larry Page gave me $10,000 I’m not switching off of an iPad. At least not this year.
But, there are a whole range of uses that don’t need an iPad, but need a good tablet.
For instance, let’s say you are outfitting a school with tablets and all you need is a good web browser at a very low cost? Vizio wins here. Apple doesn’t.
Or, say you are a restaurant and need to put a tablet at every table with a menu on it? Vizio wins here. Apple doesn’t.
Or, like we just saw at Oakley’s headquarters, let’s say you are building a custom retail experience where you can order custom sunglasses. Are you going to spend $500 on an iPad when a $350 one from Vizio will do? No way. Vizio wins. Apple doesn’t.
Get it? This is how Android will take over the marketshare battle in tablets. There are more of these uses than the ones people use iPads for. After all, how many schools need tablets? A whole lot. How many custom retail establishments need tablets? A whole lot. How many manufacturing machines need tablets built into them? A whole lot.
Thanks to this single tablet I can now see how Android is going to get the market share numbers it needs to get developers excited.
But don’t call it an iPad competitor, OK? At least not until there are a ton of great tablet-based apps, which there aren’t today.
Some more things I saw at Vizio today?
Anyway, just a brief break from my vacation, be back on Monday with more tech stuff.