ViewSonic VP: Jobs Afraid of the Tweener Tabs

According to ViewSonic's VP of Marketing, Adam Hanin, Steve Jobs is worried about seven inch Android tablets. "I think in this case he may be a little afraid of this category."  ViewSonic will be launching a seven inch tablet called the ViewPad 7, featuring stock Android, as opposed to the optimization and UI additions on the Samsung Galaxy Tab.  While it's the Galaxy Tab that Jobs was probably attacking during Apple's earnings call, Hanin was happy to explain why ViewSonic can compete with the 9.7 inch iPad.

Hanin went on to say of Jobs, "And he's finding whatever he can to attack because he sees (7-inch tablets) as a challenge to the dominance of the iPad."  Well it's certainly true that the iPad doesn't come in a seven inch form factor.  While Jobs dismisses the smaller tablets as "tweeners, too big to be a phone, and too small to compete with the iPad," customers are responding well to the Galaxy Tab, and Hanin feels ViewSonic's  offering will also be welcomed by customers.  He agrees with Jobs that Android OS fragmentation, due to manufacturers and carriers' various changes and overlays to stock Android, "does potentially lead to issues... What you're getting is pure Android when you get the ViewPad 7."  (Maybe Hanin is a little afraid of the Big, Bad Tab.)

He also had an upbeat view of the ViewPad 10, which is a dual-boot device that also runs Windows 7, launching with Android OS 1.6 (Donut).  (Yeah, Donut on a new device in 2011, would you believe?)  Hanin said you can view Flash content on the Windows partition (because you sure can't view Flash with Donut), use your productivity suite there, then use the Android OS for entertainment and other apps (because everyone knows Windows doesn't offer anything like that, right?)  The Android-only ViewPad 7 will ship with Android OS 2.2 (Froyo), and Hanin doesn't see a problem with how it runs on the device.  Despite Google's warning against using Froyo for tablets, he says, "We're finding that it's working great with our product. "

I don't think Steve Jobs is afraid of seven inch tablets, but he may be very worried about the success of the Galaxy Tab in generating some serious "wow" among would-be iPad consumers.  Whether Apple responds with their own iPad Junior will show how well Hanin called Jobs' possible concerns.  In the meantime, the ViewSonic ViewPad 7 should launch before the end of this year.

Source: Laptop Magazine

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