There is only one competitor in the tablet computer market
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
7 February 2011
The success of the iPad is a study in brand preference
I follow a lot of tech sites and am always interested in seeing the electronics that are about to enter the market and how new ones are performing. Each new entrant gets a brief moment in the spotlight and then either disappears before they make it to the market, or performs poorly. Take the tablet computer market.
“Until competition speaks to the consumer through the language of meaningful brand, the only iPad killer will be the iPad 2.”
The success of the iPad has been the result of a collection of positive factors. It has an extremely powerful parent brand, permission to compete in the marketplace, it was arguably the first to market, and it has a well-designed platform (both from a hardware and software perspective). These positive aspects put the competition at a great disadvantage, but it is not so great that competition should have the meager existence that is does.
The laundry list of products that have existed, currently exists, or are still in development is daunting. You have the Dell Streak, the Samsung Galaxy, the JooJoo, the WePad, the Archos Tablet, the HP Slate, the MS Courier, Asus Eee Tablet, the Viewsonic Viewpad, the Compal Tablet, the Notion Ink Adam, the Advent Vega, the Blackberry Playbook, the Motorola Xoom and The Lenovo IdeaPad.
The list keeps on going. Even with this steep competition, the iPad is the only one in the market with sales figures to reinforce a strong consumer preference.
The problem with the tablet market is that the iPad’s competition does not view its objective as needing to understand the intensities of the consumer as a means to create brand message that has meaning. Rather, the competitors position themselves as being iPad killers. (Even the Motorola Xoom Android tablet Super Bowl commercial was a sly poke at iPad.)
It’s smart to be positioned against your competition, but only if you define who a tablet consumer believes himself or herself to be when using your tablet. No one has done that, but only identified themselves as “not an iPad.” That only helps the iPad.
Until competition speaks to the consumer through the language of meaningful brand, the only iPad killer will be the iPad 2.
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