Best Buy Mobile bullish on tablets for this holiday season

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From the point of view of December 31, 2009, 2010 was going to be the "Year of the E-reader." Then CES and a few other trade shows happened early in the year and the landscape tilted a bit. E-readers seemed to be fading already, and tablets were the hot ticket. Suddenly it became clear (and I say that with a tinge of sarcasm) that 2010 was going to be the "Year of the Tablet."

For Apple fans, that's come true. The iPad started strong in April and seems to be continuing strong. But for people who want a tablet other than an iPad, so far the year has been a frustrating exercise in staying patient through product delays and junk tech.

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Now Best Buy is ready to shore up our flagging spirits. In an interview with Forbes, Shawn Score, president of Best Buy Mobile, said that Best Buy Mobile "will make tablets a focus" this holiday season. Score promises to offer consumers a choice of operating systems, specifically mentioning Android and Blackberry tablets. He didn't mention a specific number of models, merely saying “It won’t be 32, but it also won’t be one, like we have today.” Hopefully that doesn't mean two. Personally I'd like to see 3-4 different Android tablets on display, plus whatever else they have to show.

So if you're ready to buy an iPad killer, what tablet should you pick? CNet's Brooke Crothers says it'll be the combination of Motorola and Verizon which best competes with Apple. But if you want a tip from the horse's mouth, so to speak, LG's vice president of marketing Chang Ma didn't dance around the issue when speaking to the Wall Street Journal, saying "Our tablet will be better than the iPad." Reading further, it seems like LG's tablet will be angled more towards productivity than the iPad. Here's a further quote:

The tablet will include content focused on creation such as writing documents, editing video and creating programs. It will also have "high-end features and new benefits," many of which will focus on productivity, Mr. Ma said.

"It's going to be surprisingly productive," he said.

I guess we'll have to wait and see. These other tablet manufacturers really need to step up their game. I expected the iPad to have some serious competition by now, but I suppose that holiday quarter is the one you have to win. Better to delay a few months and have something awesome for the holidays than launch early and weak. We've seen a few early and weak products and they've been nothing but a disappointment.

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