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Tablet Battle Has Begun, And Will Be Fierce


When do you expect heavy
competition to begin in the tablet PC
market, or has it already begun?

Jim Annes, AVAD:

There will be
more than 100 companies manufacturing
tablets in the near future, so
I think it is safe to say that the battle
started a while ago. Design and
screen size are easily copied by competitors,
so the bigger story here is
probably the battle between operating
systems and for software rather
than industrial design.

Dennis Holzer, Powerhouse:

The competition has already begun.
To date, Apple remains the clear cut
leader. While the category is hot now,
I do expect the category to significantly
heat up even more in the third
and fourth quarters.

Jerry Satoren, DSI Systems:

don’t think that the heavy action has
really begun yet in this category. As
we move into the back half of the year,
I think things will start to heat up. We
will see a lot more players and worthy
models on the shelf. Traditional
CE and TV/appliance stores have no
choice but to get involved in this category
or risk walking to their CE sales
to a competitor. As a distributor, this
low margin/high velocity category is
going to open up new customer opportunities for us as many retailers
will be forced into looking for logistics
solutions to turn their tablet inventory
at a much higher rate than
anything they’ve ever sold.

Brent McCarty, Ingram Micro
Consumer ElectRobics:

has definitely heated up. Ingram
has a wide portfolio of tablets from
entry level to high end with a semi exclusive
on the RIM Playbook and Amazon
Kindle. Although there is competition
this category is experiencing
explosive growth so there is a lot of

Warren Chaiken, Almo:

We are
certainly seeing competitive advertising
and product announcements
in the tablet PC market, although
currently product supply issues are
have not allowed the for competition
to really heat up – but it’s coming for
fourth quarter.

Rob Eby, D&H Distributing:

expect competition in the tablet category
to heat up in early July, when the
major PC manufacturers have both
webOS and the new Android models
available to ship.

Tom Roper, SED International:

It has already begun, but it will heat
up further as more products come out
both under the new Android and current
Windows OS and as consumers
have more time to digest the assortments.
There are really two battles,
one in the entry-level space and another
in the higher-end space with
products that go head-to-head with
the iPad. The entry-level space has
had more competition early on, and
the high-end space is the one that we
will really see more growth in competition
as the year goes by. So far,
demand has been high while supply
has been tight.

Bill Stewart, Petra Industries:

Competition in the tablet PC market


What other categories should
CE retailers and installers begin carrying
this year?

David Kaplan, DDG:

This is a great
question. There are definitely trends that
will affect what we stock and how we
sell it. We now live in the era of “killer
apps” that allow consumers with broadband
unprecedented opportunities for
accessibility and interactivity with their

As stated earlier, we are seeing trends
in selling affordable retro-fit solutions in
new “sweet spots” such as content delivery,
security and energy savings.

For example, rather than buying into a