How much the tech world changes in how short a time! In August 2010, Technologizer blogger Harry McCracken rounded up 32 potential “iPadversaries”—tablets being planned or manufactured to compete with the iPad. (Paul Biba covered the original article here.) Now McCracken has gone back to look at the eventual fate of each of those tablets in a new post for the Technologizer.

It’s a little hard to believe that, just over a year later, the vast majority of them have vanished with little trace of their passage. Indeed, it’s hard to believe that there could ever have been 32 potential “iPad killers” at all. I know I’d be hard-pressed to name more than 3 or 4 of them without cheating and reading the article.

Partly that’s because a lot of these tablets simply never really were true iPad competitors—and a lot of those tablets, such as the models from Archos, do still seem to be around. We don’t hear much about them because they aren’t really trying for the same market niche as the iPad, or even as the Nook Color or Kindle Fire. Archos’s devices always seemed more like dedicated media players with a tablet form factor than true “tablet” tablets, for instance.

Some of them simply never showed up—either never condensing from vaporware (such as the alleged Rocketfish tablet) or simply just not having been released yet (like Dell’s Windows slate). Some of them did show up but only in parts of Europe or Asia, not the USA, or at such outlandishly high prices nobody ever bothered with them. And others, such as the TouchPad, showed up and flamed out.

It’s interesting to note that the only really successful non-iPad tablets, either currently on the market or soon to launch, are a couple that didn’t even make that list of 32: the Nook Color and the Kindle Fire. Sometimes you find competition where you least expect it.

Of course, it still remains to be seen whether any tablet has the ability to knock the iPad off its lofty throne. But it certainly will be fun finding out.


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