Tablets: ‘Why Should Somebody Buy This Instead of an iPad?’

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7. ”I cater to a different market.”

ciscociusWhen it comes to building computing devices that consumers covet, Apple has no peers. But consumers aren’t the only prospective tablet buyers. If a tablet maker set out to please a different target market–businesspeople, or a subset of businesspeople–it could focus on things other than Apple’s core competencies. That wouldn’t be easy, but it sounds less scary than trying to out-Apple Apple.

Any examples? RIM would tell you that the “professional-grade” PlayBook is a better tablet for corporate use than the iPad. But (A) in its initial form, it’s so profoundly rough that it doesn’t feel professional at all; and (B) RIM was too undisciplined to truly focus on business use. (The PlayBook comes bundled with games and is being touted on TV as a great entertainment device.)

Perhaps Cisco’s Cius has a shot at being the definitive business tablet. Or perhaps not: it’s made almost no news since it was announced a year ago. Actually, it’s entirely possible that the iPad will be the leading business tablet for years to come, even if that’s a secondary use for it rather than its primary purpose.

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