So apparently Taiwan-based ODMs are claiming that Intel and Microsoft are partnering together closer than ever to work to reduce the iPad’s huge share of the global tablet market. Right now it has about 70%, supposedly they hope to drop it below 50% by 2013.
The bigger question here is whether or not that is possible. Intel and Microsoft both have had less-than-great success in the mobile smartphone and tablet world, though both haven’t given up. Later this week, actually, Intel will launch its first Medfield smartphones in India and China.
Windows Phone isn’t a huge success but it is a very solid operating system that is finally starting to see some growth. So it’s clear that both still are very invested and interested in the tablet and smartphone scene.
When you think about it, is 20% really that much to ask for when it comes to about a year? Windows 8 is going to have ARM and x86 variants giving it the ability to have a wide price and model range, something the iPad doesn’t have.
I suspect that Windows 8 can actually accomplish this goal, but I don’t think Intel will have THAT much to do with it, to be honest. There is a reason why Microsoft went out of its way to port Windows to ARM. ARM just seems to work better as a mobile processor.
Of course you could argue that MS went out of its way so it would have the widest range of options and to better compete with Google, who soon would have Intel, MIPS, and ARM options (okay, so the Intel options are still arriving, not there yet).
So let’s talk about what it will take for Microsoft to knock down iPad to 50%:
Wide acceptance on an enterprise level. While iPad has become to become popular in the business world, it isn’t nearly as flexible of a platform, from an application and multi-tasking viewpoint, as desktop Windows can be.
This is where I believe Intel and Microsoft will shine together. If Windows RT Metro interface is well-received as a good touch option, businesses will consider an x86 machine, which will play nicely with the business’ existing custom applications and networking structure.
While there is certainly a profitable market for the enterprise, I’d still wager than the majority of iPads are used for more ‘casual’ uses like daily browsing, apps, games and such. I could be wrong though. On the casual side, Intel probably has less to offer in a tablet, but Windows 8 can still shine with ARM here.
One thing I’m curious about, too, is whether Windows 8 will steal sales from the iPad or is it more likely to steal from the Android tablet crowd? It has a similar multi-device, multi-range system to Google’s platform but is powered by the flexibility of Windows.
I really think this might appeal more to Android users than iOS users. When I bought my wife a tablet I considered going Win7 but it sucked for touch. So I went Android. There are probably many Android tablet owners that did the same kind of thing.
That’s my point of view on the lofty goal of knocking the iPad down to 50% in 2013. I’m actually more interested in everyone else’s ideas though. What kind of applications would Windows 8 need in order to show its a better option than iPad? What kind of price range would kind it the edge against Apple’s tablet?
Do you think Intel will be a large part of Windows 8′s tablet success, or will most sales be from ARM tablet devices?
Share your thoughts below.