Apple Competitors Doubtful that Ice Cream Sandwich Will Beat iOS

According to Digitimes, Notebook vendors are unenthusiastic about tablet PC sales, and after seeing the failures from RIM, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard, they are backing away from non-Apple tablet PCs.

Even Google’s upcoming Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, is not inspiring confidence. Many believe that it will not be successful in competing against Apple’s iOS 5. Digitimes sources believe that non-Apple tablet retailers will need to wait until the version of Android that comes after Ice Cream Sandwich or Windows 8 in order to be competitive against Apple.

Demand for tablets could even drop significantly, much like it did for the netbooks that were wildly popular a few years back, boosting traditional notebook sales.

Certainly the tablet offerings from companies like RIM, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard, have failed to inspire confidence in other companies that were hoping to get into the market.

After facing low sales and increasing retailer dissatisfaction, HP completely discontinued their WebOS-based TouchPads, stepping out of the tablet market entirely. Remaining HP tablets were sold off at just $99 each, a fraction of their manufacturing cost. while HP is planning a last run of the tablets to promote the company, the failure has cost it a significant amount of money.

RIM is in a similar position, facing dismal sales of the Blackberry PlayBook. during the second quarter, RIM shipped only 200,000 PlayBooks, which was a fraction of its projected shipment. recently, PlayBook manufacturer Quanta Computer was forced to cut 1,000 jobs at a factory dedicated to creating RIM’s tablet, after orders from RIM came to a halt.

Motorola’s Xoom failed to garner much attention when it was released after the iPad 2. the company sold just 440,000 of their tablets in the second quarter, compared to the 9.25 million iPad 2s that Apple sold in the same three months. However, Motorola isn’t quite prepared to throw in the towel just yet. the company is taking another shot with a new 7-inch tablet, which is expected to be released at the end of this year. A 7-inch tablet could do well, but unfortunately, the operating system still won’t be up to par with iOS 5.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab enjoyed slightly more popularity than the aforementioned tablets, selling 1 million by December of last year. unfortunately, Samsung has been targeted by Apple for copying design elements from the iPhone and iPad, and is currently embroiled in lawsuits that may ban sales of the company’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and future tablets.

Other tablet vendors, such as Sharp, have opted to cut back or discontinue tablet production. It’s not looking good for any of the major tablet vendors, except for Apple, of course. the iPad 2 is still selling in droves, and people are eagerly awaiting the company’s iPad 3.

Is there any hope for an Android tablet? Maybe. We’re still waiting for Amazon’s entry into the tablet market to be released, and if the success of the Kindle is any indication, an Amazon tablet could do very well indeed. Amazon’s new tablet is rumored to have a custom designed Android operating system, which could potentially set it apart from the failures of other Android tablets.

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