Linked by David Adams on Tue 20th Dec 2011 06:06 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless 2011 will go down in the history books as a great year for tablets mostly for Apple's iPad however, not all tablet vendors fared as well as Apple. It's not for lack of products that prevented Android tablets from taking any market share away from Apple this year. By our calculation, over 100 tablets were introduced since the iPad however, we defy even the most tech-savvy of you to name more than a few of them. What was so wrong with the competition that it failed to make any inroads in the tablet market, at least until the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook came along?
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Not even close. The apple peripherals market exploded because there were a few consistent models to target, and, more importantly, Apple provides an amazing hardware interface for accessory makers. This info is only available under NDA, but the stuff you can do with accessories for Apple devices totally blows everything else out of the water. That's why there are a billion "Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad" devices out there and the ecosystem is thriving.

A standardised "dock" connector was a stroke of genius for Apple, especially since it's used on everything from the lowly iPod Classic to the newest iPhone 4S and every iDevice in between. Having something similar for Android devices would be nice.

It's too bad that the phone vendors have viewed this as a potential cash cow where they can sell their own peripherals instead of creating a peripherals economy around their devices. Just look at the many failed (proprietary) "dock" connectors from Sony, Samsung, Motorola, etc.

And, now that micro-USB and mini-HDMI ports appear on every phone, there's no real need for a specific "dock" connector. Anything you can do over the Apple "dock" connector can be done over either USB or HDMI. All the phone vendors (or better, Google) need to do is mandate that these two ports are always located together on the same side of the device, are always recessed X mm from the case, are always Y mm apart, etc and voila! A "dock" connector is born!

After that, everyone and their dog can create docks, mounts, and sundry other peripherals, since the "micro-USB + mini-HDMI" connectors will always be accessible together.

Alas, I fear that Google does not have that balls to add something like that to the "Android Compliant" certification process (not that such a thing exists); nor do any two phone vendors want to work together on such a thing.

Edited 2011-12-21 22:57 UTC

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