CES blows up tablet hype, poll deflates it

If there’s one thing that we know about Las Vegas, it’s that the town is all hype. A thick veneer of glitz and superimposed luxury disguise what is really a seedy money trap – the actual experience a far cry from the luxury and class promised by its first appearance. So let’s not forget what we know about Las Vegas on the week it hosts the Consumer Electronics Show.

CES has become the flagship technology show for manufacturers to showcase their latest gadgets and build up buzz about new products. Just as Detroit has become synonymous with the auto industry for its North American Auto Show, Las Vegas is now well entrenched in the technology industry. But what takes place at both shows is not necessarily a portent of things to come. Just as very few people will be driving the new electric cars and hybrids shown off in Detroit, very few will be buying tablet computers in the near future.

Related Slideshow: It’s raining tablets at CES

A poll conducted for by Delvinia Data Collection shows that 56 per cent of Canadians do not have plans to buy a tablet. Another 31 per cent of Canadians say they will “maybe” buy a tablet in “one or two years.” Only six per cent will buy a tablet within a few months, and only seven per cent before the end of the year.

We didn’t ask consumers why they didn’t want a tablet, but I can level a decent guess. Tablets aren’t a “need to have” item, but a “nice to have” item. Nobody who’s used Apple’s iPad can deny it’s a fun device to use for browsing the Web, reading (I especially enjoy the comic book format on the iPad), and playing games. But it’s not very ideal for getting work done.

Plus, if you already have a laptop, desktop computer, smartphone, or portable media player like the iPod Touch, you can already do most of the things a tablet might let you do. It’s just not worth shelling out the cash and opting into a monthly data subscription with a carrier to gain access to that via a tablet format.

Businesses should take heed that in this case, and many others, technology vendors are pushing a trend that’s not really happening. Sure, it’s possible that consumers will be won over by one of the myriad tablets coming off the CES show floor. But there’s nothing to indicate they’ll be rushing to snap up the new technology. Certainly it’s safe to say that not all of the tablets debuted, or even most of them, will still be available on the market or supported a year from now.

Also capturing a lot of attention at CES is Google’s new Android 3.0 or Honeycomb OS. Designed specifically for tablets and debuting on sexy devices like the Motorola Xoom, Google’s OS has captured a lot of attention. Yet Canadians don’t share the same enthusiasm for it when it comes to tablets.

Just 13 per cent of Canadians said they’d choose Android Honeycomb for their tablet purchase. The most popular, with 38 per cent was Apple’s iOS. The second most popular choice at 27 per cent was Microsoft Windows, even though Windows tablets seem to be an afterthought on the CES show floor. Also, 15 per cent of Canadians chose Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Tablet OS.

This AskingCanadians poll of 1001 respondents was conducted for  The data was collected from January 7th to January 11th.  AskingCanadians is an online survey community with a panel of more than160,000 members across Canada. Joining the AskingCanadians panel is free to Canadians who are in the age of majority in the provinces they reside, or have the permission of their parents or legal guardian. Qu’en pensez-vous is the sister community in Quebec.  AskingCanadians is owned and operated by Delvinia Data Collection for more information go to

Brian Jackson is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter, read his blog, and check out the IT Business Facebook Page.

Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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