The Macalope Daily: Mean streets

Them streets continue to be mean if you’re a tablet vendor without a fruit-themed logo. It’s really hard to believe that in the year since the iPad’s been out no one’s been able to create its equal. What’s so hard about this?

Sure, some non-Apple tablets have found a home at the bottom of the market, and there are a few promising pieces of hardware out there, and Android finally has an operating system optimized for tablets, but sheesh. Even the Macalope didn’t think it’d take this long. We’re almost to the point where it’s not even funny anymore.

Almost.

Take RIM’s travails with the PlayBook for example. The whole situation is painful. We already knew that nobody wanted a PlayBook, even when they worked right. (Although without e-mail can we say they ever worked right?) But now we learn that RIM’s had to recall over 900 PlayBooks because of a software problem “that may result in the devices being unable to properly load software upon initial set-up.”

That’s just terrible. Now what will people not buy? Think of all those poor salespeople at Staples without anything to dust. It’s heartbreaking.

Android tablets seem to be faring slightly better, but even Nvidia’s CEO can point out the problems, which include lack of good retail options, poor marketing, bad pricing, and extended lack of Wi-Fi-only models.

And that’s before we even get to the less robust ecosystems. Put that all together and it explains how a study by Intermedia could show 99.68 percent of small and medium-sized business tablet activations were iPads. The Macalope doesn’t know if you know anything about math, but 99.68 percent is really close to 100 percent, which would be all of them.

But, you know, if you were running a business what would you do? iPad, right? Yeah, that’s what the Macalope would do.

So what’s so hard about this? Maybe these are just the wrong companies. These cell phone and PC manufacturers can’t think far enough outside their boxes to get this right. And some of them, like RIM, are in a state of panic. This game of Marco Polo changes if Amazon jumps in the water, but that probably wouldn’t happen until later in the year. So at least through the summer, Apple continues to rule the pool.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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