Additional reporting by Greg McGowan
The big tablet news this week was news that wasn’t, actually. On Monday, Steve Ballmer officially unveiled Microsoft’s last great hope in the mobile space, Windows Phone 7. Rumors were flying prior to the event, claiming Ballmer would introduce a Windows Phone 7 tablet along with the first crop of Windows smartphones, or at the very least, elaborate on Microsoft’s tablet plans.
Unfortunately, Ballmer didn’t even utter the word “tablet,” and product manager Greg Sullivan threw cold water on the rumor, claiming Microsoft had no plans to use Windows Phone 7 as a tablet OS, and that Windows 7 works just fine, thank you. In fact, we learned that Samsung approached Microsoft about producing such a product, and Microsoft kindly turned them away.
We are still patiently waiting to see those mythical Windows 7 tablets Ballmer promised by Christmas. In the meantime, we expect the much-hyped Samsung Galaxy Tab to take a crack at the iPad’s market dominance soon, as it’s weeks away from release.
Speaking of the first potentially great Android tablet, check out our iPad and Galaxy Tab comparison, and check in on Monday for a full Galaxy Tab review. Also, be sure to read our review on the “toughest tablet on the block,” the Armor X10gx as well as the best iPad RSS apps.
Now, on to the news:
iOS 4.2 Beta Now Available
Apple is now offering a beta 3 pre-release version of iOS 4.2 for the iPad, which is now available on the Apple developer site. Apple iOS 4.2 is said to bring multitasking, wireless printing, and AirPlay for content streaming over WiFi.
Analyst: Android Tablets to Own Market
The iPad may be king of the tablet market, but according to Piper Jaffrey analyst Gene Munster, it’s only a matter of time before Android tablets become more popular. Speaking with Business Insider, Munster claimed, “Ultimately, we think that Apple won’t have the majority of the (tablet) market share. It’ll probably be with Android-based tablets.” Munster also cited numbers, claiming Apple ship 20 to 25 million iPads through 2011, a figure far less than the 45 million others are predicting.
CTL Windows 7 Tablet PC Ships
The CTL 10-inch 2goPad SL10 featuring Windows 7 is now available. Featuring an Atom N450 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, front facing VGA camera, and QuickBits software UI, the SL10 has a capacitive display that is complete with an accelerometer. The device is going for $500 right now, but will be hiked up to $600 come October 20.
Apple Gains Notebook Market Share
Don’t look now but Apple’s booming tablet success could translate into laptop success as well, enough to threaten top brands. After selling 7.6 million mobile PCs in 2009 — good for 7th place in the market with a 4.4% market — Apple looks to sell 9 million mobile PCs, excluding the iPad, in 2010 (up 18.4%), surpass ASUS and Lenvo, and threaten the number three spot held last year by Dell, said Anita Huang and David Hsieh, analysts at DisplaySearch.
iPad Means Business
AT&T is set to marketing the iPad to a new frontier: the business customer, Bloomberg reports. After establishing itself as the dominant tablet among consumers, Apple is shouldering into the enterprise, and AT&T is on board, working on iPad business applications. “The majority of knowledge workers cannot use media tablets to replace their notebooks,” analysts at Gartner wrote in the report. “In the enterprise space, for the immediate future, the main use of media tablets is as a notebook companion or a secondary device to take on the road.”