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110 Things Tablet Computer Makers Must Do To Take On the iPad

1. The Touch Screen Is Important A tablet is nothing without a high-quality touch screen. The iPad has it, and customers love it. In order for the iPad’s competition to compare on any level with Apple’s device, they need to boast the same quality. Not only should the display be big and beautiful, it should also be responsive to a user’s every movement. The touch screen makes or breaks a tablet. That must be kept in mind for any company that plans to try its luck against Apple’s iPad.

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2. Size Matters The tablet market is unique when it comes to size. In most cases, the bigger the device, the better. In other cases, the smaller the product, the better. But in the tablet space, the device needs to hit the sweet spot between being big enough to accommodate those that want to use it for entertainment, and small enough for those that want it to be their companion while on-the-go. Apple’s iPad boasts a 9.7-inch display. It’s right in the sweet spot for size. Tablet makers might be able to trump Apple’s device by delivering a slightly larger screen size of, say 10.5 inches. Anything bigger than that or smaller than the iPad’s display and they’re in for trouble.

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3. Android Is A Good Option The software in the tablet is just as important as every other facet of the device. Realizing that, most tablet makers would be wise to bundle Android with their devices. It’s not that other software solutions can’t work in the tablet space, but why try something that has been unproven and has no value in the marketplace when it’s possible to use the single mobile operating system that can compete on the same level as the iPad? Android is the only operating system that can currently match the iPad’s iOS. Tablet makers can’t lose sight of that.

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4. Chrome OS Is Worth Considering If Android OS just doesn’t do it for some tablet makers, they might want to consider Google’s Chrome OS. Although the operating system has yet to make its way to store shelves, it’s the only major Web-based operating system potentially hitting store shelves over the next year. And since tablets aren’t expected to offer the kind of functionality consumers find in laptops or desktops, Chrome OS might actually suit tablet makers better than most other operating systems. That said, they will need to be careful with going with Chrome OS. It’s an unproven operating system. Without the right strategy in place, it could be a disaster.

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5. Windows Won’t Make Much Sense When HP first announced the Slate at CES earlier this year, some wondered why the company would be attempting to bring a tablet to the market that would feature Windows. It was a good question, and probably the reason why the Slate with Windows was eventually cancelled. As viable as Windows might be on the desktop and laptop, it doesn’t make the most sense in the tablet space. Consumers want a simple interface with an App Store that delivers quality programs. Windows won’t do that so easily. But Android OS or Chrome OS just might.

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6. Design Is Everything The overall design of a tablet is a key factor in the success or failure of a device. If a new tablet is poorly designed and fails to deliver the kind of aesthetic consumers are looking for, they will opt for the iPad. It’s important for any tablet maker to remember that. No matter what kind of software comes with a tablet, it can only go as far as its design. An ugly device won’t work.

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7. Sales Won’t Be Great It’s important to keep in mind when selling a tablet that the chances of its sales being high are quite slim. The reason for that can be explained in one word: iPad. Apple’s tablet is the major player in the tablet market. It’s the benchmark by which all the other devices in the space are judged. Barring a groundbreaking product, there’s little chance that a device from, say, HP or Dell could enjoy the kind of sales that the iPad does. Yes, sales might be enough to keep a product on store shelves, but don’t expect them to be so high that Apple will need to start worrying.

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8. Work With Verizon When Apple announced that it inked a deal with AT&T that will allow the carrier to be the exclusive provider of iPad data, it left a wide opening for every other tablet maker to partner with Verizon Wireless. That’s especially important for companies to consider as they prepare to take on the iPad in the tablet space. With the iPad only getting its data from AT&T, tablet makers can capitalize on those customers that want to access data from Verizon Wireless. It might not be the killer feature that will help products succeed, but it will certainly help.

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9. Appeal to the Enterprise There is an opportunity in the tablet market for companies to try appealing solely to the enterprise market. For the most part, the iPad has been purchased by consumers that want to be more productive while at home. But with an enterprise-focused tablet on store shelves, it could cause some companies to think twice about their desire for netbooks. The enterprise is one of those spots where, if successful, a company can enjoy years of success. It won’t be easy bringing tablets to the corporate world, but it’s certainly something to try.

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10. Double Down On Value The iPad is an expensive device. Realizing that, companies should attempt to provide customers with as much value as they can. That means offering more features than the iPad at a price that either matches it or beats it. Doing so won’t be easy, since Apple is able to control several expensive elements of its device. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t the smart move. The iPad is a device that provides very few openings for competitors. Plus, with Apple’s logo on it, the device is already far ahead. But if consumers see more value in a specific tablet over the iPad, it might succeed.