Game on! The new iPad 3 just went on sale Friday and the competition has already gone on the defense.
Specifically, Dell executives are promising a new product that will come out swinging at Apple’s ultra-popular tablet.
Previously, the company attempted inroads in the market with its Streak tablet (pictured), which was based on Google’s Android operating system. Although the 5-inch tablet, which was widely criticized for functionality issues, is still available through third-party retailers such as Amazon, Dell is no longer selling it on its site.
Despite Apple’s dominance in the field, says Dell’s chief commercial officer Steve Felice, the tablet market is still anyone’s game–and the company is betting that its current toehold in the office may give it the upper hand among corporations that are seeking to integrate tablets into an system already filled with Windows products such as desktops, laptops and smartphones.
“We come at the market in a different way … We are predominantly a company that has a great eye on the commercial customer who also wants to be a consumer.” Felice said in an interview with Reuters. “In the areas where we come at the market, we think we are a coveted brand.”
A forthcoming Dell tablet would likely utilize the best of the Windows 8 operating platform, Felice said. Windows 8 is expected on the market later this year and will use a touch interface that’s compatible across a variety of products. “We’re very encouraged by the touch capability we are seeing in the beta versions of Windows 8,” Felice said.
Dell, currently the world’s third-biggest computer behind HP and Lenovo, hopes to cash in on one of its rival’s strength–mainly the notion that many workers prefer the slim stylishness and portability of Apple’s signature products to their bulky, often inconvenient work computers, Felice said.
The new Dell tablet, however, isn’t expected for several months. “We have a road map for tablets that we haven’t announced yet. You’ll see some announcements.. for the back half of the year,” he said.
The company is betting on its existing relationship with businesses to give it an edge in IT departments whose workers are, perhaps, tired of trying to incorporate employees personal devices–i.e, iPads–into the corporate infrastructure.
“On the commercial side there are a lot of concerns about security, interoperability, systems and device management, and I think Dell is in the best position to meet those,” Felice said.
And, Felice said, the current iPad falls short when it comes to its processor and typing capabilities. “When people put their computer to the side and take their iPad with them to travel, you see a lot of compromises being made,” he said. “We don’t think that this market is closed off in any way.”