Categorized | Featured, Tablet News

Who’s next for the Tablet graveyard?

It's ironic that tablets look rather like glossy gravestones, because several models have already ended up in the tablet graveyard. After a lacklustre launch and disappointing sales HP decided to kill off its TouchPad tablet - which means we won't see the rumoured seven-inch TouchPad Go either - and in the US, Dell has withdrawn its five-inch Dell Streak 5 from sale. So who's next on the endangered species list?

If the tablet market were a horror movie, RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook would be running around a spooky old house while a masked man chased it with a chainsaw. Reviews have been disappointing, sales have been "anaemic" according to analysts, and eWeek describes it as "continuing to hold onto the tablet market by its fingernails." According to tech site BGR, the PlayBook is an enormous money pit: an unnamed source within RIM told the site that "RIM isn't making any money on the PlayBook".

Anybody else? Until last week we'd have suggested Motorola's Xoom as one to worry about - its last financial report said the firm shipped 400,000 tablets over three months, and shipped doesn't necessarily mean sold - but then Google stepped in and bought the company, so we very much doubt that Motorola's going to get out of the Android tablet business now. The Xoom might not be here for the long haul, but something else is bound to take its place.

That doesn't mean all Android tablets are safe, though. The ongoing patent battles - battles that saw Samsung's Galaxy Tab temporarily banned in Europe after Apple chased Samsung through the German courts - could see firms charged royalties for particular patents, massively increasing the cost of making Android hardware. It's hoped that Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility gives Android enough patents to fight back. It'll be interesting to see whether that hope is justified.

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