Huge impact ahead
The iPad has resiliently fended off challenges from a steady stream of upstart tablets throughout 2011. However, it is about to get its stiffest challenge yet from the Kindle Fire. As Perlow noted, Amazon has nearly all the pieces in place to challenge Apple from an ecosystem perspective, and that's far more important than the tablet itself. While I still have my doubts about the general usefulness of a 7-inch tablet, the $199 price tag of the Kindle Fire will override those concerns for most people.
Barnes & Noble doesn't have the ecosystem and its tablet is $50 more expensive than the Kindle Fire, so I don't see it being as big of a threat. The best thing the Nook Tablet has going for it is a strong retail presence. I also don't see either the Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet being as appealing to business professionals, who are some of the iPad's most steady buyers because they want to use the tablet for both work and leisure.
Still, I give Perlow the nod on this one. The Kindle Fire is about to have a huge impact on the tablet market.