When announcing the iOS 4.2 update yesterday Steve Jobs once again took the opportunity to lay into the tablet competition, saying:
“Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit.”
Unlike iPhone, which got iOS 4 back in June, iOS 4.2 is a generational improvement for iPad, which has been stuck on iOS 3.2 since it debuted back in April. Multitasking, folders, AirPrint, AirPlay, threaded email, unified inbox, and more (see our complete iOS 4.2 for iPad walkthrough for all the details).
While RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook, HP's webOS PalmPad, and no doubt a legion of future Android 2.3 and 3.0 tablets are waiting in the wings, only the Galaxy Tab has shipped to date (not counting Windows Tablet PC or Archos, which are different in kind).
I had a chance to try out the Bell version of the Galaxy Tab over the weekend and came away thinking it doesn't really compete with the iPad at all. That's not to say no one will buy a Galaxy Tab -- 600,000 have reportedly been sold in the last month --but at 7-inches and running a thinly skinned version of Android 2.2 Froyo, it felt more like a big Galaxy S phone than a distinct tablet device.