Tablets that Failed in 2011 (But Could Come Back in 2012)

Every year, we get new hype of electronics that are suppose to rock their niche. This year, we saw tablets galore. At CES 2011, I personally saw around 8 tablets that disappeared quicker than a fake Apple store in China.

But those tablets that stayed to try and take the market had to deal with the 500 lb gorilla in iPad2. Some did ok, while others failed miserably. That is what were going to look at today.

Cisco Cius

Cisco Cius

Cisco Cius

Knowing that Cisco didn’t want to deal with the consumer market, they decided to go for the business professional. Why not? It worked for Blackberry all these years. Only problem, it still couldn’t cut it.

Cisco Cius is an Android-based tablet that ran 720p, with Wifi, 4G and Bluetooth. It contains Cisco AppHQ, which is Cisco’s business app store. The seven-inch screen had an optional HD media station that could connect USB peripherals, Ethernet access and a handset, turning the Cius into a landline phone.

There is still hope for the Cius, especially in the office that wants to buy $1000 phones. Maybe in 2-3 years, this device will become more utilized.

 

HP TouchPad

HP TouchPad

HP TouchPad

There is no way to sugar coat this, so I am going to say it. HP shot themselves in the collective foot. The HP TouchPad started out just fine. Using HP’s acquired Palm software, the WebOS system had a companion phone in the Pre3. The big feature was the ability to transfer items from the Pre3 to the TouchPad by setting the phone on the tablet.

This tablet was prematurely killed when CEO Leo Apotheker stopped production of WebOS devices in October. It also brought us the first viable $99 tablet, as stores were liquidating.

WebOS has been since deemed Open Source. Maybe the TouchPad will make a resurgence as a collectors item. ITM – HP will most likely come out with a Windows 7 tablet in the future.

 

RIM BlackBerry Playbook

Blackberry Playbook

Blackberry Playbook

RIM has been hurting as of late. Once a staple in business, they seemed to lose a lot of momentum to Apple lately. To really get into the tablet market, they decided to put out the PlayBook, which in all reality, was a pretty impressive tablet.

1 GB of RAM, dual-core 1 GHz processor, Dual HD cameras, and it also worked well with a Blackberry smartphone. The tablet does have a lot of strengths, but the market did not bode well. If it can stand the water, the Playbook might emerge in a year and really show

 

Motorola Xoom

Motorola XOOM

Motorola XOOM

The Xoomtablet was hit hard on specs vs. iPad2. The Xoom’s 10.1 inch display was deemed “Low end”. Resolution is not the only thing about a display. color depth, brightness and contrast are also big factors.

Still, this tablet, which now can be upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) could make a comeback with Xoom2 and a better display. It also has Bluetooth, micro USB and GPS.

Overall, all four of these tablets are still in production. They have some great features and – if a little work goes into them – they could shake up the tablet market in 2012. HP TouchPad would be the only exception.

With the Kindle Fire and Color Nook out in the tablet market, as well as some low-cost tablets ( like the  $99 MIPS Novo7 tablet that came out), 2012 might have some viable alternatives in the tablet market.

MIPS Technologies Introduces a $99 Android 4.0 Tablet

If you wanted a $99 tablet, you would wait for the HP fire sales of the TouchPad, or buy a no-name brand tablet that had a low end processor and no memory. But MIPS Technologies has announced their entry into the market – a $99 tablet that can run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

You might have MIPS technology in your home already. The MIPS processor is what powers TVs, DTV boxes, and other appliances from Sony, Pioneer, Motorola, and Cisco (Linksys).

MIPS Technologies

MIPS Technologies

Now, it’s ready to enter in the mobile market with the new tablet. The first one, a 7″ tablet created by Ainovo; the NOVO7 runs using a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) at 444MHz. The processor is a 1GHz single core, but using a technology called XBurst. Called JZ4770, it’s MIPS32,  65 nanometer architecture. The processor notes it can show 2D or 3D video in 1080p, with a low power consumption (less than 250mW).

Unfortunately, the unit is also sold out at this time.

“The openness of Android is enabling a new level of connectedness and interaction between devices and between people across the globe,” said Sandeep Vij, president and CEO, MIPS Technologies. “We are excited to be a part of the Android ecosystem delivering on that vision. We applaud Ingenic’s accomplishment in developing this new high-performance, feature-rich Android 4.0 tablet, and offering it at a price point that makes it widely accessible. We look forward to teaming with Ingenic as it continues to develop MIPS-Based mobile innovations.”

Aionvo NOVO7

Aionvo NOVO7

Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile at Google joined in on the praise:

“I’m thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market. Low cost, high performance tablets are a big win for mobile consumers and a strong illustration of how Android’s openness drives innovation and competition for the benefit of consumers around the world.”

8″ and 9″ form factors will be available soon. All versions include support for WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, HDMI 1.3 and microSD, as well as 3D graphics (1080p video decoding) and dual front/rear cameras (the NOVO7 has a 2MP rear, VGA face camera system).

The age of the “throw-away” tablet could be coming sooner than you think.

 

Cisco Discontinues Flip – What Are They Thinking?

flip camera

flip camera

Today, Cisco decided to nix the Flip line altogether. They fired 550 employees and stopped production of the popular video camera, just months after they introduced the highly anticipated Flip UltraHD with a dock for attachments.

Although I was completely floored when I heard this news, I wasn’t too surprised. Cisco is not really in the video capture area. It doesn’t fit their business model.

So why did they buy it for $590 million?

Why the Flip was Flopped

We are making key, targeted moves as we align operations in support of our network-centric platform strategy. As we move forward, our consumer efforts will focus on how we help our enterprise and service provider customers optimise and expand their offerings for consumers, and help ensure the network’s ability to deliver on those offerings.

-John Chambers, CEO Cisco

Cisco was loosing big (18 percent in Q2 alone), so a re-org was necessary. Cisco will be making some major changes, like this one.

Why not Sell Flip?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to sell Flip to Kodak or Sony? Maybe even Apple, HTC, RIM or Motorola? I am not sure if they held any patents. In fact, there was an issue where the flip was under an infringement issue against Advanced Video Technologies.

Flip is Old, Smartphone Replaces

One thing to think about, with the introduction of the iPad2, you can record and edit video right on your tablet. An iPhone also has that ability. The newest iPhone should improve the front and rear cameras – not to mention the accelerometer can help with stabilization of HD video.

Blue Mic Mikey for Flip on Hold

Talked with Blue Mic today about their attachment for Flip – the Mikey (which you can get for iPod nano). They mentioned the Mikey is officially on hold until they can figure out what is happening.

It’s still sad to see a consumer device that is pretty popular get sidelined. Maybe it’s only inevitable since smartphones (as well as Digital SLR cameras) are getting better in video recording and come with programs to edit and publish.

There are still times where I would want a camera over a smartphone. There are also times I would want a $130 camera over a $700 DSLR. I wouldn’t take my smartphone or DSLR underwater.

If you are looking for a movie camera, you can still get a Kodak Playtouch, Sony Bloggie or Sanyo Xacti .

GNC-2010-10-01 #615 All Sorts of Fired Up!

Had a live viewer ask why I do not watch the chat room during the show their really is two words, “Task Saturation” as much as I would love to hang and chat it is real hard to cover all of the content, and monitor the chat at the same time. Key is if you have comments on the content, email and the hotline are the best feedback mechanisms. Let your voice be heard. Wow this show had one zinger after the other and Bryan entertains us at the end of the show.

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GNC-2009-11-17 #528 Little Rough Tonight?

Never let your Audio recorder start doing a Virus Scan in the middle of the show. 15 minutes had to be re-recorded tonight which sucks.. You know me no editing but when the audio was blank I had to do it twice. Probably better the second time around anyway.

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GNC-2009-03-20 #461 Fantastic Show Today

Your host is back and healthy and feeling good. If you watch the video sporting a Bono look ;) and ready to head to the East Coast next week should be a great trip with a series of Podcaster Meetups all across the country.

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GNC-2007-02-23 #244

Ok early morning departure for Honolulu time to get out of Florida and head home to be with the family. Quick 55 minute show tonight back to full format next show.

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How’s it Feel Apple to be Sued for Trademark Infringement ?

It is no surprise that Cisco has sued Apple for Trademark Infringement on the iPhone. I talked about this in detail on a past post and also in my podcast. Apple should not be surprised as Apple themselves has been pretty reactive to other companies in sending out cease and desist letters to companies that they think are infringing.

This is going to be a very ugly battle but my prediction on how this will fall out is that Apple is going to have to pony up to the bar.

Wow wait till you see what the CEO has written simply amazing. [Cisco CEO]