Good news for Apple: Sales of the Galaxy Tab tablet has hit the 1 million mark.
Computerworld said that the device has achieved the distinction quickly: It was put on sale outside the states two months ago and on the four major wireless carriers here last month, according to the story.
So why is this good news for Apple? In the first place, the iPad didn't lose bragging rights to reaching the 1 million mark first. It did that in one month, according to the story. More importantly, there has to be a segment before a company can dominate it. While Apple no doubt will sell a lot of devices no matter what, it simply is a healthier environment for all players if there is more than one competitor in a discreet and identified category.
The tablet market is fractious, both in terms of form factor and the number of competitors in the sector. This Bloomberg story, for instance, describes Acer's great plans to become the second fiddle to Apple. The story is an interesting read for no other reason than to get a sense of how fluid the market is.
The often-used cliche that "a high tide raises all boats" is true here. There is enough flexibility in the way a tablet looks, what its specs are and what its intended use is to enable many players to thrive without eating into each other's market share. This is, as of right now, far from a zero sum game. But what two-or three, four or five-successful tablets will do is clearly delineate the category and continue to chip away from the smartphone segment below it and the laptops and even PCs above.
The creation of a stable tablet market, especially in the enterprise sector, is no certainty. eWeek offers a slide show that highlights what writer Don Reisinger thinks is wrong with tablets. He provides plenty to chew on, from questionable print support to uncertainty in the enterprise. Reisinger also sees the lack of competition:
Some folks are saying that the Samsung Galaxy Tab is a potential 'iPad Killer.' But the truth of the matter is that at least right now Apple's iPad isn't facing major competition in the tablet space. It's the best of the bunch by a wide margin. While that might be good for Apple, for consumers it's unfortunate. The better the competition, the more Apple would need to think of ways to improve its tablet. Right now, Apple isn't feeling any pressure to do that.
While it of course can't say so publicly, it would not be surprising if Apple is happy about the Galaxy Tab and is rooting for a measure of success for the other tablets. It also should be happy that it has created the kind of mystique of being an unbeatable top dog that once upon a time the Yankees, Mike Tyson and a few other dominant forces enjoyed.