Mark Bridge writes:
Santa’s bringing tablets this Christmas – and I’m not talking about the plink-plink-fizz of Alka Seltzer. These are tablet computers… and they’re going to be everywhere.
It all started with the Apple iPad; a device so widely anticipated, the TV advertisements didn’t even need to say what it did. "What is iPad? iPad is thin…"
But now it’s having to share the limelight. The Samsung Galaxy Tab runs the rival Android OS and, unlike the Apple iPad, appears to have every model 3G-ready.
Then there are the new Binatone tablets. Archos tablets. And many, many iPad lookalikes from China. Plus potential new products – such as RIM’s rumoured BlackPad, along with LG, HP and Motorola tablet devices – still to come.
So… we’ve got the stock. But what about the demand?
Well, according to retailers, that’s there too.
DSGi chief executive John Browett expects the iPad to be a "winning product at Christmas" in Currys and PC World stores.
Glenn Lurie, president of AT&T's emerging devices division, says tablets could make laptops obsolete.
Best Buy’s Shawn Score says his company "will make tablets a focus" – and it wouldn’t be too surprising to find The Carphone Warehouse heading in a similar direction.
Cost could also play a big part. Not only are some of these WiFi-only tablets costing under £100, even the dearer 3G-equipped ones will look attractive when subsidised with a two-year mobile contract.
Overall, it looks like good news for the mobile industry. Whether it’s also good news for consumers isn’t so clear. After all, there’s still a chance that may of those tablet devices could end up in the same cupboard as electric candles and laser-guided scissors!