How many me-too’s will there be?

Apple’s iPad has no doubt been a home run for them. To be honest though, who cares about Apple? The real winner is us; all of us. Countless clients of ours, friends, and even people we look at a little funny, have told us that they love their iPad. Most use it a good chunk of the day as a primary communication tool. I was even shocked to see that I know more than a few folks that actually pay for the data plan so that they can use this everywhere.

That being said now everyone wants in on the deal. Samsung, and Toshiba, to name a few, are scrambling to get tablets up and running. RIM, and Google/Verizon too are throwing their hats in the ring. That is to just name a few. Some big players like Sony’s Kazuo Hirai have said that their tablet would have to be a “very appealing product that is going to be widely accepted, as opposed to a me-too product”. The question we are asking is how many will there be and how successful will they be in terms of stealing market share from Apple? The answer, according to Bloomberg, is 23 companies that currently have plans to release tablets. 23! Really?

Currently Apple enjoys a 74.1% market share and is expected to loose a little ground next year as the onslaught of tablet wanna-bes hit the market. They are still expected to dominate though for the following year as well. So what to think about this information is the next big question. It can only be good news for the market. If Apple continues to push innovation in the market and spur other companies to follow, we can likely expect that it will lead to a price war (maybe I can get the 16GB iPad next year for $99) and product diversification. It already has made my life a lot different by virtue of providing me with a sleeker, smaller, and far more portable vehicle to communicate on and use as a tool. As this market grows, so will my possible uses for the device.

Depending on where you look, the tablet market is poised to explode in the next few years. They have already crippled Netbook sales and other Eee-PC type products. They have already allowed some to ditch the laptop in favor of a smaller device. Not to mention they integrate flawlessly with the iPhone culture which offers folks like us tremendous convenience. What is next no one knows but if you see the world for what it can be instead of what it is, this is the future; there is no question about that.