Microsoft and Qualcomm in race for tablet supremacy over Apple

Yes, it's true. Microsoft and Qualcomm want to beat Apple. How will they do it? We have the plan.

Tablet Supremacy

Apple has long held the title of King of the Tablets. The iPad was a storming success where previous more advanced tablets from others had failed. Why? While others focussed on the technical features and productivity of the tablet vision, Apple harnessed the ease of use of a touchscreen and the mass consumer marketplace. Translation: other tablets focussed on "work", while Apple's iPad focussed on casual gaming, music, watching videos, and making content and apps easy to download and install.

As Apple's success became more rampant, others tried to get in on the action, with Windows-powered tablets and Android-powered tablets, but the competition was timid and Apple was already so far ahead, mounting a challenge was next to impossible.

Microsoft's mission

Microsoft was perhaps the first and most fierce competitor when it came to tablets. They wanted to win mindshare and sales. They just did not have the right goods at the right time.

Surface RT was a flop not because of the hardware, but due to the software. Windows RT was limited, didn't let customers do what they wanted to do (run full Windows apps). Surface 1 and 2 barely scraped by. Surface Pro 3 started the war, and Surface Pro 4 was a smash hit.

Surface Pro 2017, otherwise nicknamed Surface Pro 5, even though Microsoft has never given it a designated "5", became an almost perfect device - it built upon the huge success of the Surface Pro 4, introduced some new hardware and software, and if Microsoft had blessed it with a USB-C or Thunderbolt port, it would have been a no-holds-barred massive massive success.

Qualcomm's mission

Qualcomm needs cash. Its $1.2billion lawsuit with Apple is withholding income and draining its resources. Qualcomm needs friends with deep pockets. It made friends with Microsoft in the background amidst the problems with Apple and Apple's supply chain.

Microsoft needs Qualcomm. If Microsoft's mission is to succeed, it needs a chip vendor with expertise in low power consumption and consumer hardware. It can't get this from Intel. It can't rely on Samsung Exynos chips either. So it was left with the big boy in the room, Qualcomm.

Qualcomm has put huge resources into its Snapdragon range, and the most recent Snapdragon 835 chip powers flagship phones from every Android device maker you can think of, including Samsung.

Qualcomm and Microsoft worked together to get the next generation of chips ready - Snapdragon 845 chips are set to become the brain and heart of the 2018 wave of smartphones from leading Android phone manufacturers - and - here is the fun part - Microsoft is backing Qualcomm to get those phone manufacturers on board to produce Android tablets with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 inside, and Microsoft apps pre-loaded out of the box.

Qualcomm wants the chip sales.

Microsoft wants the apps on-device to tie in to the Microsoft Store and Microsoft cloud.

Apple's adventures

In its continued run of tablet supremacy, Apple is now at the pointy end of innovation - they need something new and different, and they need it now. The iPad has been the same for far too long: over 5 years. Apple needs to change it up, and the best way to change it up is to do what Apple did best in the past: add a new screen size, add a new body colour, add a new major feature, bump up the price.

While Apple is in a muddle right now getting its high tech TrueDepth Camera System into mass production, the revisions to its device portfolio is sitting on the shelf, waiting. The updated iPhone X, the new iPhone X Plus, and the rumoured iPhone X Cheap, otherwise known as the iPhone SE Replacement, which I feel will be called the iPhone 9.

The iPad is also due to get the TrueDepth Camera system, but again, Apple is having problems scaling up the manufacture of the components. They've invested $390 million in Finisar and $820 million in LG to make it happen, but it's still not happening fast enough. Apple needs to buy the rights to the Finisar system and get it integrated, miniaturised, and manufactured immediately.

How Microsoft and Qualcomm can best Apple

While Apple is stuck in the mud, Microsoft has a clear opportunity to release a breakthrough new product, and steal all the sales away from Apple. People waiting for the updated iPad have cash in their pockets dedicated to buying a tablet, Apple is keeping them waiting, and Microsoft needs to jump on it.

Microsoft and Qualcomm have been getting this plan ready for nearly two years. The time is right. Apple is in a rut. Google is doing almost nothing new in the tablet space.

Now is the right time to best Apple. Hit the market with a range of amazing new tablets, running Android, pre-loaded with Microsoft apps, powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, and boom, you have a massive success on your hands.

It doesn't need to be a Surface product. Other manufacturers will produce these tablets: Motorola, HTC, LG, OnePlus, even Samsung and Nokia.

Do it now.

"Strike while the iron is hot".

"Never correct your enemy when he is making a mistake".

Until next time,

Xavier Zymantas

XYZtech XYZ Media Group

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