Xoom joins the tablet battleground

There’s tablet mania sweeping through the globe and if you think we are hysterical right now, just wait for the reaction when Apple lifts the lid on the iPad3 in a couple of weeks. Apple’s lead in the tablet department is so big that sometimes you wonder if any of its rivals are ever going to catch up, but at least that hasn’t stopped them from trying.

Motorola is unleashing the Xoom 2 on the Australian market, RIM is re-jigging the PlayBook to make it more attractive and there’s a whole lot of Android tablets headed our way in the coming months.  

Most of these offerings will receive a warmish welcome from consumers, but only a few will be able to compete with the iPad 3, and the Xoom 2 does have a few things going in its favour.  It’s lighter, slimmer and faster than the iPad 2, it costs $720 or $59 a month on a two year Telstra plan. These sorts of prices don’t exactly engender a solid fan base and I think consumers expect to pay a lot less.

If Apple’s rivals are really serious about slowing the tech giant they might want to have a look at Amazon and its strategy with the Kindle Fire.

The good news is that any doubts about tablets being just a fad have been well and truly dispelled. As this infographic from Forrester, courtesy of The Zeal of Tech shows, 147.2 million tablets are set to be shipped out globally in the next couple of years. That’s a lot of tablets and a good chunk of them will be iPads unless the likes of Motorola and Samsung do something about it.