HTC Files Trademark for Scribe Tablet
Mobile phone manufacturer HTC joins the growing list of companies planning to roll out tablet devices in the wake of the Apple iPad, if a trademark filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is any indication. The company filed the trademark for the “Scribe” handheld electronic device on Dec. 26. “This will provide an alternative to the iPad,” Will Stofega, program director at consulting firm IDC, told Bloomberg News. “This will compete on pricing, and could be as good or better.”
Apple’s iPad was one of the biggest technology debuts of the year, proving to be an instant success with consumers and reinvigorating the long dormant tablet PC market. Rivals such as Samsung, HP and Palm have hurried to craft their own tablet computers, though Apple is likely to hold a comfortable lead on market share over the next couple of years. Google Android-powered devices (HTC is the world’s largest producer of Android smartphones) are likely to provide the headiest challenge to Apple’s tablet dominance.
According to a survey of 2,288 participants from Fuze Box and Harris Interactive, 20 percent of Americans will own a tablet computer by 2014. Some 78 percent of respondents said they planned to use their tablets to surf the Web. Three-quarters of people said they would use their machines for e-mail. Electronic reading of books and newspapers, (53 percent), social networking (50 percent), consuming TV via Netflix, Hulu and other apps (43 percent) were also popular draws. Tablet use bodes well for enterprises as well, with 37 percent of respondents pledging to use their machines for business concerns.
During the third quarter of this year, the iPad fairly owned the tablet market, with a 96 percent market share, according to Strategy Analytics. Analysis firm iSuppli said it expects Apple’s iPad shipment rate to reach 2.5 million units per month, by year’s end, and for overall tablet shipments for the year to total 13.8 million units. That figure is expected to barrel forward to 43.7 million units in 2011 and 63.3 million units by 2012.
While Apple’s iPad continues to dominate the market, competitors are gearing up with their own offerings in 2011, and Apple is likely to release an updated version of the iPad in the first quarter of the new year. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) also has a tablet, the PlayBook, planned for early 2011, while the Android-running Samsung Galaxy Tab — which, far from exclusive, is debuting with all four major U.S. carriers — has already exceeded the 1 million units mark. Dell currently offers the 5-inch Streak tablet, and has plans for a 7-inch version.
Tablet computers based on Google's Android operating system will make up 15 percent of the worldwide market in 2011, nibbling at Apple's iPad share similar to the way Android smartphones gained on Apple's popular iPhone. That's the prediction from IMS Research, which also expects Android tablets to command 28 percent of tablet share by 2015. Some 15 hardware makers will sell Android tablets, including Samsung, Dell, Motorola and Cisco.