WePad just the start of iThreat

WePad just the start of iThreat

Summary: 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.

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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.

Topics: iPad, Android, IT Employment, China, Tablets, Mobile OS, Intel, Google, Apple, Enterprise 2.0

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14 comments
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  • wepad = vaporware

    the wepad is vaporware or even worse a fake. it was supposed to be a
    touchscreen slate running linux (android even?). there was a
    presentation last week in germany where the company refused to
    hand out units to the journalists. they even refused to demonstrate
    the touchscreen functionality. later it turned out that they had only
    windows 7 and a video in media player running on it. it was the
    laughing stock of the german tech press last week. so much for
    another ipad killer.

    check here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMDtteLtJmo
    (short clip of the press conference, it's in german, but you will get the
    idea)

    and here:
    http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/04/13/the-bizarre-wepad-launch-
    a-chaotic-press-demo-only-video-of-the-ui/
    banned from zdnet again and again
    • That could be true

      Doesn't mean the next one and the next one and the
      next one won't be vapor. And it doesn't mean
      Neofonie won't have a device soon -- they're a
      reputable service outfit.
      DanaBlankenhorn
      • Enough to matter?

        I think that alot of the people running out to by a pad (iPad) don't really care all to much for what's running on it, they want the iPad because like the iPhone and iPod, even though they're just another MP3 or smartphone, there'e that [i][b]perception[/b][/i] that it's "the best".

        Sure an Android or Windows tablet would be able to do all the things that the iPad can do, plus more, but it won't matter because it's fashionable to have the iPad because of that perception that its "the best", not a jojo or whatever other device is on the market.
        John Zern
        • The iPad actually works

          Here's a WePad demo. The first thing the demonstrator did was hook up a mouse.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO0XHMoylZ4

          The Android and Windows tablets don't really exist yet. The WePad is at a battery life disadvantage because it uses the Intel Atom rather than an ARM chip. The Joo Joo appears to be DOA. Other tablets haven't left the far east. A browser only tablet is only going to disappoint. A book reader only device ain't cheap.

          The iPad is selling because it works, works rather well, and people can use it. It's the apps and books that people want. When you find a device as responsive as the iPad, with the battery life of an iPad, with the apps, books, music, and video of an iPad, get back to us.
          Info-Dave
          • Wrong

            Windows Tablets exist. Windows Slates are not shipped yet though. See
            Tablet PC is a broad area and in that area Windows Tablets are the first
            ones to be marketed and iPad joined the bandwagaon after almost a
            decade later. I am not saying iPad is not good over Windows Tablet or
            less powerful, but all I am saying is Windows Tablets exist and if you
            mean HP Slate then you are right.
            --Ram--
            Ram U
          • Well yeah "tablets" have existed for some time now.

            As far as I can tell when there were first introduced there was barely a
            splash and then followed by a whimper. Not much of an impact and for
            these past few years if your read an article about a "tablet" it was usually
            questioning why they the tablets had not taken off yet. Still the fact is
            that Apple did NOT invent the tablet.

            Pagan jim
            James Quinn
          • maybe...

            But they were the first to hone the OS so that it works on a tablet. The
            reviews of the HP Slate have arrived and the general consensus is "meh".

            ?The official verdict is meh.? Yeah, ouch. Apparently the Slate?s biggest
            strength is also its greatest weakness?it?s essentially a touchscreen
            netbook, and that means that while it can run everything including Flash,
            it can be ?slow and annoying.?

            Until people get it then the iPad has no competition.
            jgpmolloy
          • Sorry, I was unaware of the Tablet/Slate designation

            Tablet PC was Bill Gates last vision. All Tablet PC did was replace the mouse with your finger. There was no new interface elements, you still needed a keyboard, it was heavy, and battery life sucked. Software never advanced beyond demoware. The few vertical market packages developed never attracted attention. Tablet PC was a failure.

            "iPad joined the bandwagaon", that's funny.
            Info-Dave
    • RE: WePad just the start of iThreat

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      gorians
  • American industry is dead

    All the pundits like saying Apple make crap despite spending billions
    on R & D using American trained engineers.

    American colleges must only be able to train students in copying
    others.

    American technology is obviously hopeless and a waste of time.

    /sarcasm

    Get real Apple sold half last years estimated tablet market in less than
    a week, they have innovated and created a new CONSUMER market
    where previously one didn't exist. now everyone will want a piece of
    the pie.

    Hey you can letterbox the HP slate's screen on an iPad, pixel for pixel
    and have plenty left over for controls and inputs.

    Just like the Zune HD and the iPod touch, you can letterbox the Zune
    HD(radio) screen pixel for pixel.
    hill60
    • Which one?

      North America or South America?
      AzuMao
  • As If It Were That Simple

    you mean iWish.

    these knock-offs will always be two years of product design and
    half an ecosystem behind.

    but sure, in 5 years there will be dozens of them, and they won't
    be half bad.
    AlfieJr
  • WePad is where iTrain my eDog

    Ok, that was lame.
    Tigertank
  • RE: WePad just the start of iThreat

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