Parks Associates Blog

Friday, January 07, 2011

Entrants Flood Race to Rival iPad .

A race to respond to Apple Inc.'s hit iPad gadget enters a new phase next week, as a host of companies use a Las Vegas trade show to talk up a broad array of tablet-style devices.

Companies expected to introduce touchscreen tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show include big names such as Motorola Inc., Dell Inc. and Acer Inc., as well as smaller manufacturers. Trying to stand apart, the devices will offer displays of various sizes and different operating systems. Some will have two built-in cameras; others none.

The stakes are high for many players—particularly Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp., kingpins of PC technology that have so far struggled to match the momentum in tablets of Google Inc.'s Android software and chip designs from ARM Holdings PLC.

A number of firms, including ViewSonic, Dell, Acer and Asustek Computer Inc., are hedging bets on Android with additional Windows-based models. Still others plan to emulate Apple by using their own software.

For example, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. has said it will use the QNX operating system for its seven-inch PlayBook, which the company unveiled in October and plans to sell for less than $500. RIM, which bought QNX Software Systems in April, plans to show off the PlayBook again at CES.

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