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TI's OMAP chief lists top 11 tablet features

Posted: 25 Apr 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:media tablet? trends? user experience? tablet processors? Android?

Deepu Talla, general manager of Texas Instruments Inc.'s OMAP mobile computing business unit, believes that user experience, and not processor performance, makes for a commercially successful media tablet.

Speaking to an audience at the International Data Corp. (IDC) Smart Technology World conference in San Francisco, Talla noted that the PC industry has emphasized processor speed in marketing campaigns for many years. "Unfortunately, smartphone marketing seems to be going that way," Talla said, in an address titled, "The year of the tablet: Transforming mobile experiences."

"At the end of the day, user experience is what sells," Talla said. "Apple has proven that."

Talla added that few people know much about the technology inside Apple's A4 or A5 processors, but the iPhones and iPads they power are near universally praised for the user experience that they provide.

Talla joked that the estimated 100 or more tablets that were showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show in January gave rise to the acronym JAATjust another Android tablet. With so many tablets of similar appearance and planning to run the Honeycomb version of Android, people wondered how any would differentiate themselves in the market, Talla said.

"This is just the first step into the market," Talla said. He noted that two years ago, the Android OS was in its infancy and the dominant smartphone OS was Symbian, now all but left for dead. Two years later, IDC projects that in 2011 Android will hold nearly 40 percent share in the smartphone market.

Talla noted that Honeycombversion 3.0 of Android, the first optimized for tabletswas just rolled out earlier this year. The next version of Android for tablets should be comparable or even better than Apple's iOS, Talla predicted.

He noted that the tablet product category has caught the eye of a host of vendors, from traditional PC OEMs to content providers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, which offer the Kindle and the Nook, respectivelyboth of which are marketed as e-readers as opposed to tablets. But he cautioned players in the market not to underestimate companies such as Barnes & Noble, which has reportedly shipped an estimated 3 million color Nooks.

"They [the tablet makers] are all excited about the opportunity, but nobody knows what the ending will be," Talla said.

Talla said tablets could one day displace all netbooks and even "thin notebooks."

11 trends for 2011/2012
Talla outlined a list of 11 features emphasizing user experience that he expects to be incorporated into tablets delivered in 2011 and 2012:

1. Tablets that support multiple OS.
Motorola Mobility Inc.'s Atrix 4G smartphone has already pioneered this concept, running the Froyo version of Android and, when docked, Motorola's own proprietary web-based desktop environment. Talla said TI also demonstrated this concept on a tablet at the Mobile World Congress in February. "We think that multiple operating systems are going to happen because end users want to have a mobile profile and an enterprise profile on the same device," Talla said.

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