WePad just the start of iThreat

The concept of Google, and to an extent of Intel, which is running Android on Atom chips, is that anyone who can make Far East connections on one side and retail connections on the other can be in the iPad business.

There was lots of chirping this weekend about something called the WePad. (Picture from Neofonie Gmbh via our Crave blog.)

Our friends at CNET don't even know if it's real. The German maker, Neofonie,  does enterprise and Web 2.0 but is best known for its search system. It's based in Berlin and says it's hiring.

The WePad first surfaced in March, an Atom-based 11 inch pad running Android and standard Linux.

Is this the iPad killer? No, but it's part of the process.

The concept of Google, and to an extent of Intel, which is running Android on Atom chips, is that anyone who can make Far East connections on one side and retail connections on the other can be in the iPad business.

This has always been a Japanese or American secret. Japanese perfected the mass production of quality electronics, turning America into their development and marketing lab. Americans financed better combinations and got around the Japanese by going to China via Taiwan.

Everything was wrapped up in Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA) and fancy contracts, then Apple perfected this business model. The success of Apple over the last decade -- the whole "i" thing (Mac, Pod, Phone, Pad)  -- is about making this proprietary business model work for the mass market.

Now it's being opened up. So it's fitting that the first outfit to pop up here is German. They are the tip of what I suspect may be a very large iceberg. Expect Singaporean, Indian, and even American entrepreneurs to be jumping in all summer, along with some coalitions whose provenance is murkily multi-cultural.

It's going to be fun.

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