Are tablets redefining entire industries?
Tablets like Apple's iPad are expected to act as a catalyst for the rapid convergence of consumers, computers and communications.
Indeed, tablets have already begun to spur frenetic competition across entire industries.
"The definition of convergence has changed over time, with the latest version describing it as voice, video and data services being delivered to the home vis-à-vis broadband networks and the new services that would result from this confluence," iSuppli analyst William Kidd told TG Daily in an e-mailed statement.
"While that trend still exists, the convergence of consumer electronics devices and industries are now coming together at a fast pace, with the tablet form factor serving a tangible representation - since it is part smart phone and part notebook."
According to Kidd, the above-mentioned trend is likely to manifest itself via the proliferation of cross-platform mobile OSes for devices such as televisions, cell phones and notebook PCs.
"These [tablet-inspired] OSes provide a framework for consumers to cheaply and effortlessly create custom use cases for devices by using apps that greatly exceed the utility of an Internet browser alone," he explained.
"For developers, mobile OSes allow the creation and monetization of apps, [along with content for providers]. [And, of course], mobile OSes enable interconnectivity between [numerous] devices, and thus generate even more new use cases."
However, Kidd emphasized that the inevitable transformation of tablets into sophisticated media creation devices will require the development of OSes that are far more evolved than current-gen software.
"[As such], Apple is likely to determine how to [transform] iOS and [the] iPad into a [viable] creation platform that is 100 percent compatible with the Widows-dominated PC universe.
"Obviously, Apple could combine iOS and Mac OS at some point, which [we] believe is logical as well," he added.