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Rugged Tablet PC Executive's Industry Discussion

Recently, RuggedPCReview put together a list of questions about opportunities in the rugged tablet PC and semi-rugged tablet market as a result of the iPad popularity. Four tablet companies including MobileDemand and President Matt Miller provided in-depth feedback on 16 questions. A wide range of topics are discussed including everything from simple pen input to the future of the Windows 8 platform.

From RuggedPCRevew.com:

Tablet computers have been around for over 20 years. For most of that time tablets were niche market products, with brief periods of more public interest such as the early 1990s when pen computing attracted attention (remember, the original IBM ThinkPad was a tablet) and Microsoft's 2002 push with the Tablet PC.

Over the past two years, the Apple iPad dramatically changed the tablet landscape by legitimizing the form factor with an elegant, easy-to-use multi-touch interface first popularized on the iPhone in 2007, and now used on hundreds of millions of smartphones.

Broken iPadWith well over 50 million iPads sold, it's clear that the tablet concept works. Yet, Android tablets have been far less successful in challenging the iPad's predominance than Android smartphones have been in establishing a viable alternative in that market. So on the one hand, there's a great opportunity in vertical market tablets, and by that I mean more durable and more rugged versions of a media tablet. For some reason, though, we're really not seeing any.

What we do see is Apple making significant inroads in traditionally vertical markets. For example, the Lowe's home improvement chain is deploying 42,000 iPhones when, in the past, they'd probably have bought rugged handhelds. And Veterans Affairs is supposedly contemplating deploying as many as 100,000 iPads in VA hospitals, again a sale that in the past probably would have gone to ruggedized vertical market products.

In short, at RuggedPCReview.com, we're seeing both unprecedented demand and an opportunity for the tablet form factor, but few products that seek to take advantage of that need on the more rugged side. We're trying to find out why that is, and how traditional rugged computing industry players view the situation. Answers to the following questions will help shedding light on the situation and present to our readers and site visitors how the rugged industry views matters.

Click here to read the questions and answers which the various companies provided.

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