Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tablets-Phase Three: Sony to launch two Honeycomb driven tablets this fall; will Amazon launch an Android version of the Kindle? Realtor.com app for the iPad

First there was the iPad, then the first halting attempts at competition, now comes the third wave of tablets including an Android driven Nook, as well as new product launches due in time for the holiday season.
Today Sony jumped into the tablet game by unveiling two new Honeycomb driven tablets called S1, with a 9.4-inch display, and S2, with two 5.5-inch displays. The unveiling by Kunimasa Suzuki, Sony's deputy president of the consumer products and services group, is another example of a manufacturer previewing its tablet offering months ahead of any actual product launch.

Nonetheless, with its integration of its PlayStation games, Sony stands a good chance of success with a games-oriented tablet product. Additionally, by the time the fall season comes there should be some built up demand for an Android tablet that is well designed and which contains all the basic features – read: email, calendar and contacts – that were left off the BlackBerry PlayBook.

The question is whether the next few months will begin to see a large number of Android tablet optimized apps being developed and released.

While many doubt that the new Android version of the Nook will take a big bite out of the emerging tablet market, others are betting that if Amazon does the same as Barnes & Noble and releases an Android driven Kindle that it will have a winner.

But won't this mean a move away from it current displays?

Realtor.com released its first mobile app for the iPhone in early 2010, a very useful mobile app that assisted home buyers find and evaluate properties for sale. Of course, while the last few years have been great for Apple, it has been a disaster for the real estate industry.

Who knows when the real estate market will recover, but Realtor.com is moving forward with its apps launching an updated app that improves the look and feel of its app on the iPad. The old app was one of those mobile apps that worked fairly well on the iPad, unlike most apps designed for the iPhone's smaller screen. It wasn't great, but it was functional.

Now this new universal app is the first released for Realtor.com specifically designed for both the iPhone and iPad. Since Realtor.com has also released Android and BlackBerry apps, I expect we will see new versions of those apps soon, as well.