Best Buy To Stock Numerous Slates This Holiday Season

Ever since the launch of the iPad, companies from all areas  of the market have been scrambling to create something competitive in order to catch the latest wave of ultra-portable computing. Tablet PCs have been around for years, but the newer breed of slim, useful tablets with multimedia capabilities are demanding attention. Up until now, all we have heard from almost all contenders is their intentions; Microsoft has said they are dead-set on bringing Windows 7 to a number of devices, but that's easy for them to say. They don't have to work out the hardware details.

The biggest question on the minds of consumers is "when." When will this rush of non-iPad tablets hit the market?  Many OEMs have really been willing to talk about it with specific dates, but thanks to a recent report on Best Buy, it sounds like the competitive Tablet PC rush may happen sooner rather than later. Shawn Score, the president of Best Buy’s Wireless Retail unit, Best Buy Mobile, recently said the following in an interview with Forbes: "Going into the holidays, we will make tablets a focus. Like e-readers over the last couple years, we think customers will think of Best Buy for tablets and expect us to have the right ones."

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Today, just a single tablet is sold in Best Buy (we'll let you guess), but obviously the retailer knows a little something more about release plans than the general public. The report mentions that "a new crop of tablets, including devices from Samsung, Acer and Research In Motion, is expected to debut in time for the holidays," with Mr. Score affirming things somewhat with this: "We will have a great assortment of them. It won’t be 32, but it also won’t be one, like we have today."

There's also talk that Best Buy's house brand, Rocketfish, may brand and sell their own tablet PC. Rocketfish products have generally seen high marks in the past, and they usually sell for less than name-brand counterparts. It's tough to know how the "race to the bottom" will effect the tablet space, but it sure didn't hurt netbooks. Looks like this holiday season is going to be a wild one, filled with slate-stocked stockings, to boot.