Just as Apple’s iPhone shook up a complacent cellphone industry, the company’s iPad is provoking PC makers — and non-PC makers — to fight back with new devices.
Google — a search and advertising company — is soon expected to begin selling its version of a slate computer, like Apple’s iPad, while Nokia — the world’s biggest cellphone maker — is planning to enter the digital book market through a slate-cum-e-reader as well.
Microsoft, the maker of computer software, is flirting with the idea of selling its own version of a slate, joining traditional computer companies like Hewlett-Packard that have already committed to such products.
In part, these companies are feeling the pressure to respond to the iPad, which went on sale April 3. But their decisions to develop the hybrid products also demonstrate their desire to expand their core businesses, and to experiment with varying kinds of business models and technologies.