Thanks to the arrival of the iPad, the tablet market is exploding. Sales of the iPad are going very strong and competitors from Blackberry and others are emerging quickly. Meanwhile, Quebec appears to be a hotbed for tablet development. In the last month or so there have been three different companies launching tablet products into the market.
The first was ExoPC which has received a lot of attention (our coverage is here). The company is based in Rimouski. The ExoPC Slate is a tablet built atop the Windows platform. The company is selling the ExoPC through distributors that are rebranding the product. In Canada, for example, the table will be sold as the Vibe. In Europe it will be sold as the MOBI-1.
The second announcement came earlier this month, from a company called eBuzz Technologies. They launched a low cost tablet that looks almost identical to the iPad called eBuzz 2.1. It looks like they’re targeting – for now – the Quebec market. The tablet is smaller, it only has a 7″ screen and it runs Android, which gives people access to the Android marketplace for apps. The eBuzz 2.1 is also not as powerful as the iPad.
Finally, the most recent announcement came from Amyuni Technologies, a Montreal-based software company that started in 1993. The company specializes in software for PDF conversion, viewing and management. And now they’ve launched a tablet called the DevTouch. Physically it resembles other tables and has a 7″ screen. But Amyuni is focusing specifically on the mobile application developer market. The tablet is designed for others to build on top of and customize to their targeted needs. Developers can pick the OS they want to use (Android, Windows CE, etc.) and build their own tablet-centric products. The company mentions some specific applications they think DevTouch can be used for, including: health care, education and home consumer devices. So for developers and businesses that have tablet-centric applications they want to build without platform and Terms of Service restrictions, DevTouch is an alternative. The company will also offer distribution services to end customers. It costs $750/unit.
The tablet market is getting more and more crowded. Mashable identified 9 alternatives to the iPad at the beginning of the year (although some of them aren’t on the market yet), there are many more now as well. Huffingpost has a similar review of iPad tablet alternatives. With all of that competition, it’s interesting to see three Quebec-based companies enter the fray and do so as quickly as they have.