Motorola announces an Android tablet at CES 2011 and already some of my Android loving buddies are saying “this is the device I’ve been waiting for”.  My response, “Why?”.   Motorola announces that they are building something that may or may not have certain hardware or software features, that will be available sometime this year, and for an as yet undetermined price.  What is it that Motorola expect buyers to get excited about now?

Do consumers really want to spend hundreds of dollars on a device that can only connect to the Internet via a cell phone plan?  Samsung went that route with the 7″ Galaxy Tab — which a lot of my geek friends swore was the “IT” Android device — but sales have been lackluster.

The thing won best of show at CES 2011 but yet no member of the press has been able to actually use one.

We were not allowed to touch it and other sites have reported that the interface displayed on the device was merely a video representation of the UI in action. ~ (via Semiaccurate.com )

When Apple announces a product they provide working units for the press to use, they announce features, a ship date and pricing etc.  They use the press to do the work of telling consumers why (and when) they should set aside money to buy.

Honeycomb hasn’t been released yet. Many tablets at CES that will be released with that software were not showing off live versions of it at the show. Several analysts said software – and the apps developed for it – are what will set winning tablets apart from the pack, but for now it’s too soon to tell how compelling they will be. “At the end of the day, that’s what’s going to sell the device,” said [Richard Shim, a DisplaySearch analysts]. ~ (via 8newsnow.com)

The press often talks about Apple’s reality distortion field but I think the marketing department at Motorola and Google need to go back to school.

A lot of products don’t make it out of CES.  There were a lot of tablet devices demoed/announced at 2010 CES.  None of those shipped.  I would be more interested if Sony announced an Android product. But they are surprisingly quiet.

I think my tech geek friends spend way too much time focused on the tech cool factor and specs and too little time thinking about how people might actually use or understand technology.  It’s the megahertz and megapixel and 3D TV hype all over again.  I think this quote from Joe Taylor, CEO of Panasonic North America, shows he gets where things are going:

“Essentially, we want to make an intuitive device. A 70-year-old could figure out how to use it without looking at an operating guide” ~ ( via Reuters ).