Tablets becoming epicentre for convergence: iSuppli

15th December 2010
Tablets becoming epicentre for convergence: iSuppli
The iPad is to be found only in the grey market but all other Tablets in this picture, can be bought in India

The convergence of consumer, computer and communications is finally a reality thanks to Apple’s iPad and competing tablets, that are hitting the market , says US based tech monitor, iSuppli.

This development that will have massive implications for the technology world, spurring competition not only among varying types of products—but among entire industries, iSuppli adds.

“The definition of convergence has changed over time, with the latest version describing it as voice, video and data services being delivered to the home vis-à-vis broadband networks and the new services that would result from this confluence,” says William Kidd, director and principal analyst, financial services for iSuppli. “While that trend still exists, the convergence of consumer electronics devices and industries are now coming together at a fast pace, with the tablet form factor serving a tangible representation of that convergence, since it is part smart phone and part notebook.”

The rise of the tablet parallels the growing importance of the mobile operating system (OS) in a large number of consumer electronics devices where previously there was no OS—or the OS wasn't a factor, Kidd added.
“Note the similarity both in external functionality and internal electronics between Apple's tablet, smart phone, MP3 player and set top box product lines. Not only do they run the same OS, but all these Apple devices are internally similar, plus or minus a screen and touch interface. Industries likely to face the impact of convergence through the proliferation of mobile OSes include televisions, cell phones and notebook PCs.”
Going mobile Mobile OSes will proliferate because of their range of benefits to technology providers and users.
These OSes provide a framework for consumers to cheaply and effortlessly create custom use cases for devices by using apps that greatly exceed the utility of an Internet browser alone. For developers, mobile OSes allow the creation and monetization of apps. Using mobile OSes, content providers to distribute their wares and adds another convenient option for consumers to access content. Finally, mobile OSes enable interconnectivity between connected devices, and thus generate even more new use cases.
Consumption versus creation iSuppli’s current outlook for tablet shipments foresees that these devices will remain content consumption devices, similar to the iPad. However, growth in the tablet segment starting in 2012 could be much higher than now anticipated as these devices take on the kind content creation capabilities now offered by notebook and netbook PCs.
The transformation of tablets into media creation devices would require the development of OSes that are more evolved that Apple’s iOS is today. Even with Microsoft’s stumbles to date in tablets, iSuppli believes that Microsoft will figure out how to design a functional tablet operating system. Apple also is likely to determine how to evolve iOS and an iPad into a creation platform that is 100 percent compatible with the Widows-dominated PC universe. Obviously, Apple could combine iOS and Mac OS at some point, which iSuppli believes is logical as well.
Kidd’s report entitled: Tablets: Epicenter for the Convergence of Smart Phones and PCs. Is a priced product ( )

While the IPad has been around for most of 2010, Apple has inexplicably not brought it to India – creating a vigorous underground market for the device which costs around Rs 35,000 – Rs 50,000. Samsung has quickly brought the Galaxy Tablet to India – a 7 inch device with 2 cameras compared to the camera-less 9.7 inch iPad. Also in the 7 inch category is India’s first Touch Tablet the Olive Pad for Rs 25,000 ( ).
For Rs 35,000, Dell offers the 5 inch Dell Streak, the first to host the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset.   

Also in the 5 inch category, the LACS Magnum Touch Media Device for below Rs 10,000  a Made in China device that lacks WiFi in its entry level range.
The much hyped Notion Ink “Adam” from a start-up based in Bangalore is a 10 inch Tablet with advanced specs and a new kind of display material. After dodging the media for months and reserving announcements for a few foreign favourites, Notion Ink has recently put specs into its otherwise bare website and claims that pre order quantities were sold out. Expect a bells and whistles launch at the CES in Las Vegas come early 2011… these guys don’t like or care for Indian customers – or are looking for a bigger market abroad.

And the fizzle of 2010 was government’s “$ 35” tablet, flaunted by Minister Kapil Sibal, but still apparently in commercial design stage since invitations to make and create prototypes has recently been floated.
Dec 16 2010