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Samsung has announced it will release its 7-inch Galaxy tablet September  2, first in Europe and then in the U.S. shortly thereafter. This  development signals the real start of the Android tablet invasion.  (Sorry Joo-Joo and
Augen; while they and other Chinese knockoffs are  already available, they haven’t captured the buying public in any  meaningful way.)

Before the end of the year, Motorola, Toshiba, HTC, Notion Ink and Asus  should all have Android tablets available. Media reports say HP will be  out Q1 2011. Will any of these challenge the iPad? I think it’s unlikely  that any one,
single device will unseat Apple. But, look for the  totality of Android devices to out sell the iPad within a year.

Why? Shear numbers. There will be at least a dozen Android tablets on  the market within six months, and their combined sales should overtake  Apple. Of course, Apple will do what it always does — adjust to market  conditions in an attempt to keep its product at the top of the heap.

Interesting times ahead.

PC  World has a terrific piece that lists 32 tablets that could hit
market over the next six months. It gave me a case of deja vu.

When Amazon launched it’s first generation Kindle in November 2007, users rushed to stores and plucked the then pricey gadget off the shelves. It was difficult to find a store that had one readily available, and customers often had to wait weeks for one to come in. By the time other companies launched their devices —
months later — Amazon had cornered the e[-reader market. Now, roughly six of every 10 e-readers sold is a Kindle. With prices dropping and technology improving, there’s no reason to believe Amazon will lose its market grip in the e-reader segment. Sony and Barnes and Noble will gobble up much of the remaining market share, while other e-reader manufacturers will close up shop (RIP Que, COOL-er and IRex)

Fast forward to April 2010. Apple launches its first generation iPad. Users rush to stores and  pluck the pricey gadget off the shelves. It’s difficult to find  a store that has one readily available, and customers often have to wait  weeks for one to come in. There are no other real competitors in the space, so the iPad dominates and could sell 8 million units in 2010. By the time other
companies launch their  devices — between now and the first quarter  — Apple will have cornered the tablet market. There’s no reason to believe Apple will lose its market grip in the tablet segment anytime soon. While a couple of Android devices will make it (Motorola has the best chance, given its partnership with Verizon) most other tablet makers will will close up shop .

Interesting how history repeats itself.

Anyone surprised that Plastic Logic’s Que never got off the ground and has been killed hasn’t been paying attention for the last, oh, 18 months. Plastic Logic has a well-oiled publicity machine that resulted in a lot of terrific press, but no results. And there-in lay a cautionary tale — don’t get out in front of yourself.

But while Que has gotten a lot of press, there are several other e-readers that have bit the dust. IRex folded last month, only to come back as IRX technologies. COOL-er went under, which is too bad because that was a cool litte machine. In the tablet world, the Augen 7, K-Mart’s $150 toy, was much hyped but never shipped, and probably won’t be given it’s troubles with Google.

The dead and the dying are littering the e-reader landscape and that should be no surprise. Expect further fallout as Amazon keeps lowering its device prices and garnering even more market share.

(The views expressed here are mine alone.)

The fallout in the e-reader market has been happening for more than a year now. Once respected e-readers such as Cool-ER have closed up shop. Others, like Plastic Logic’s Que, never got off the ground. In the midst of all of this. Amazon found a way to stay fresh, released a $139 wi-fi e-readers that sold out in days.

The question remains: what’s the future for single-use devices? As prices continue to drop — to below $100 — will e-readers be able to hold market share?

Probably — until multi-use tablets start coming in at under $199. That’s still a year or so away. That gives e-reader manufacturers a chance to continue to re-invent themselves, just like Amazon did.

For a while there I was posting regularly and had quite a few followers. And then baseball season got in the way. So now, I’ve vowed to recommit and keep this blog going. Three postings a week. Minimum. Stay tuned.