Much like touch phones, these devices are not likely to be created equal and it got me thinking what these companies must do to compete with the mighty Apple on this front.
Here are five ways they can compete with the iPad.
1. Underprice: If the competitors hope to compete with the iPad, the first thing they need to do is come in much cheaper. I'm thinking $100-150 below the lowest price iPad.
2. Double the hard drive space: If Apple is 16 and 32 MB, make yours 32 MB and 64 MB and remember #1. Give more, charge less. It may sound counter-intuitive, but it's really the only way to compete with iPad.
3. Link it to a Mobile OS: Link the tablet to an existing mobile OS with an application eco-system in place. This is the only way to play against the App Store, which remains a key iPad strength.
4. Work with Flash: Seems simple enough, but if the iPad eschews Flash, then the competitors should embrace it.
5. Fill in the missing pieces: That means include a USB port, a camera and even an SD card reader. Whatever the iPad can't do, make your machine do it.
It may be difficult for manufacturers to compete with Apple while trying to adhere to these five items, but if they don't, they are destined to gather dust on the shelves of warehouses. Apple always has a certain advantage when it comes design and functionality and the others must fill in the missing pieces that people want to compete or face computing obscurity before they even leave the gate.
Photo by smays on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.