These iPad forerunners completely flopped – PC-WELT

The tablet PC would probably not exist without Apple’s iPad to this day. But many iPad predecessors failed miserably. We show the unsuccessful tablet PCs of the last decades in a picture gallery.

The Apple iPad is still the measure of all things for the tablet market – here we give advice on buying the current models. But because of the sheer enthusiasm for the Apple iPad and various Android tablets, it is easy to forget that this device category has existed since the end of the 80s, but that it never became a sales success until the iPad.

On the contrary, all attempts to turn the tablet PC into a sales success failed miserably. Some models never got beyond the prototype status, others burned a lot of money and drove their manufacturers to ruin. And the few tablet PCs that actually sell remained niche products – for example in the medical field or on construction sites.

The colleagues of our US sister publication PC-World have put together the tablet PCs or tablet PC-like mini computers that have flopped since 1989 in a picture gallery (see above). Have fun browsing. All pictures come from PC-World.

WeTab is missing in our gallery – but it was a real thigh thumper

Incidentally, the notorious WeTab is not in our gallery. Because the tablet presented by the Berlin company Neofonie was not a predecessor of the iPad, but instead imitated it. So much so that it was initially even marketed as a Wepad. Until Neofonie suddenly changed its name to WeTab in May 2010. However, that did not change the total failure of the WeTab. The first presentation of the Wetab was completely unsuccessful because a Windows error message appeared on the tablet supposedly running on Linux during the press conference. After that, Neofonie repeatedly postponed the start of sales.

After the then very popular Ubuntu Linux was propagated as the operating system for the Wetab for a long time, Meego suddenly came into use as the OS. Back then, Meego was a mobile operating system developed jointly by Intel and Nokia. Meego, however, was buried long ago.

The WeTab was originally even called Wepad. Herewith "Oslo-Lena".


The WeTab was originally even called Wepad. Here with “Oslo-Lena”.

© Neofonie

In addition, the manufacturer Neofonie operated extremely dubious word of mouth for its tablet produced in Asia: The Berliners posted bogus positive reviews on Amazon. The managing director Helmut Hoffer von Ankershoffen finally had to admit that. Our test then showed that the Wetab could not hold a candle to the iPad in any way. And Neofonie finally gave up.

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