ViewSonic isn’t scared to face off against the iPad, today launching both an Android and hybrid Android-Windows tablet. In fact, according to the company’s vice president of marketing, it’s Steve Jobs who is afraid of the entire 7-inch slate category. I had an opportunity to speak with Adam Hanin a couple of days after Apple’s earnings call, during which Jobs labeled 7-inch tablets tweeners that were too big too big to compete with a smart phone and too small to compete with an iPad. And during our quick interview Hanin was ready to defend 7-inchers while also agreeing with Jobs on one of his Android criticisms.
Check out the Q&A below and lets us know if you think 7-inch tablets will succeed–or if Jobs is right.
But if Google’s director of mobile products said Froyo isn’t ready for tablets, is it?
H: It absolutely is. We’re finding that it’s working great with our product. And we’re not alone in that. That is what’s happening in the market. There’s demand for the product.
If the ViewPad 7 is 3G capable, why not sell it through the carriers?
H: If you put a SIM card into it it’s going to work. As a vendor we’re looking for ways to enable 3G browsing that are carrier independent. We’re looking for solutions for that.
How would you position the ViewPad 7 versus Samsung’s Galaxy Tab?
H: There’s a couple of differentiators. It has no custom interface. One thing that I will agree with Steve Jobs on is that when vendors start customizing the Android OS that does potentially lead to issues. We’re committed to the open standard. What’s you’re getting is pure Android when you get the ViewPad 7.
With the dual-boot ViewPad 10 why are you using the old Android 1.6 OS for a product that’s launching in 2011?
H: That is the current software load that we’re running on it. A lot of it has to do with that we’re trying to optimize for the dual boot environment. You can use the Windows option to view Flash and run your Office programs, and then use the Android boot for entertainment and apps. We’re trying to get the best of both worlds.
A lot of tablet makers are waiting for Intel’s Oak Trail for Windows slates because it promises longer battery life. Do you see a risk in sticking with the current Atom CPU?
H: We really feel that there’s a market for the product, otherwise we wouldn’t be introducing it. There are a lot of people who like the convenience of a slate-style form factor and they want to be able to run their Office applications on it and the ability to take advantage of all of the open source Android apps out there. And they want to be able to take the same browsing experience that they have at their desk with them. We fell there are people who want this product.