Apple Killers

Every day is an exciting one in the world of tech. Tablets, laptops, and mobile devices are becoming thinner, sleeker, and savvier, and as consumers, we can’t wait to get our hands on the latest and greatest technology.

Apple®, naturally, has held our attention for years with its evolution of sexy technology. But can the company be the No. 1 tech darling forever? Or are other companies vying for that spot at the top of the tech tree? Let’s look at some potential “Apple Killers” that could topple the giant from its position.

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The world became enamored of tablets when the first version of the iPad came out. But, now, other brands are moving at full speed to catch up with Apple.

Quite the upgrade from its previous black-and-white, no-touch-screen model, the new Kindle Fire™ is surprisingly winning the hearts of people who previously were devoted iPad fans. Its price, for one, is a major selling point: At $199, it’s less than half of the current price for the iPad.

Amazon loves its Prime™ customers and gives them plenty of extras if they also own a Kindle Fire™, like free streaming movies and a free paid app each day.

Samsung refuses to be left in the dust as well. Its Galaxy Tab™ comes in 7- and 10-inch versions, which gives you a choice based on your tablet needs. Using the Android™ Honeycomb platform, it attracts its fair share of Android fans.

Many tablet manufacturers have made announcements that they’ll be releasing new products this year. Asus’ EEE Pad MeMo™ is set to launch worldwide in 2012 at the price point of $249. It will be the first tablet to use Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich™ operating system. Not to be outdone, Dell has rumors circulating that it will also release a new tablet this year.

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UltraThin Windows Laptops

Apple’s iPads are certainly not the only products that have some competition. Its MacBook Air™, which sold 1.1 million units in 2010, is now in a crowded marketplace of UltraThin laptops. The Samsung Series 9™, one such competitor, has twice the memory of the MacBook Air and is slightly lighter. The MSI X-Slim X370™, while slightly heavier than the MacBook, comes at a fraction of the cost, making it a more appealing option to the price sensitive. Dell’s Adamo™ laptop, considered by many to be a luxury piece, is 2 inches thick and has a backlit keyboard.

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The days where Apple stood alone in all categories are slipping away. The iPhone™ is no exception. It may be the phone that got us using apps, but it’s by no means the only option for sophisticated smartphones.

Windows 7™ phones are likely to be the biggest threat to Apple. Microsoft and Nokia have teamed up to create models using the Windows OS, such as the Lumia™, which sold between 1 and 2 million in the third quarter of 2011 in Europe alone. The 800 and 900 versions will be released this year in the United States, with much fanfare about their one-touch social network access and rumors about a 12-megapixel camera.

The Samsung Galaxy SII™ gives Apple a run for its money with its Gorilla Glass™ impermeability and 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, which provides vivid colors on the screen. And finally, the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx™ shouldn’t be overlooked. It offers the rare combination of 4G and long battery life.

The Sony Xperia S™is a relative newcomer to the smartphone industry but one that shouldn’t be ignored. It uses the Sony Entertainment Network™ to give users access to millions of movies and songs, and it’s PlayStation™ Certified, which means users can download PlayStation games from their phones.

 Photo Source: Yutaka Tsutano w/CC license

What’s in Store for Apple?

With the death of Steve Jobs, many speculate on whether Apple can continue to take the majority of the market share in the categories it currently dominates, or whether this gives other players the opportunity to join in the fun. Companies like Dell, Motorola, Nokia, and Sony have the chance to come up with their own unique technology products right now. Whatever the end results, we consumers get the benefit of new and exciting technology products launching each year.