Companies have been trying to build tablet computers for years. I remember playing with an Apple Newton nearly 20 years ago and thinking it was the future. Finally, with the tremendous success of the iPad, it looks like tablets are here to stay. Yesterday, RIM unveiled their Playbook. Luckily for RIM, it looks like a worthy alternative. In addition, multiple Android tablets are soon to hit the market including the Samsung Galaxy.
So who is going to win this war and how will the landscape look in the future? I think eventually content will be ubiquitous across all the platforms. Competition will drive prices way down with subscriptions and subsidies taking them eventually down to $0. For example, perhaps if you buy a 2 year subscription to the Wall Street Journal, they will send you the tablet to read it on. Or maybe Audemars Piguet will give you a branded tablet with their full catalog on it if you buy a watch. Families will have communal tablets that sit on the kitchen table and act as portals to all of the content that they consume.
Of course this is what publishers and brands are dreaming of. For a publisher, it is a format where hopefully people will pay for content. For a brand, right now one of the biggest difficulties is figuring out where and how people are getting information. A ubiquitous device would make it much easier to deliver a brand message.
Personally, I just love that we are still in the infancy of this technology. I for one will be in line to buy each of these new tablets and test them out. I'll report my findings here.