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Tablet Pioneer Xplore Technologies’ Holleran Sees Industry Shift with iPad Success

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 8:29am
AUSTIN, Texas -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Analysts are calling it “The Year of the Tablet” at Thursday’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. However, Xplore Technologies Corp., a leader in rugged tablet PCs for commercial applications, was among the companies that helped pioneer early tablet PCs more than a decade ago.

“We began our company selling tablet PCs to police departments and first responders who were afraid of computers,” says Mark Holleran, President of Xplore Technologies. “Now, here we are, more than a decade later, and tablet PCs have taken off. But Xplore was there at the beginning and it is an amazing industry-wide transformation that has now taken place.”

Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, companies like Xplore developed the first incarnation of the pen tablet – PCs resembling bulky etch-a-sketches – for workers in warehousing, transportation, utilities, and first responders in police, fire, and EMTs. Xplore Technologies was one of the first to incorporate dual mode inputs with pen and touch capabilities (the original ones used a stylus) and worked with Microsoft when Bill Gates, in 2002, introduced his Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.

Today, Holleran sees the success of Apple’s iPad in the consumer markets as an indication that the tablet PC industry is poised for wider even acceptance and accelerated growth.

“With the explosion in video and mobile apps available, consumers and businesses require more interactive capabilities than a keyboard can deliver,” said Holleran. “The iPad’s success has signaled an industry shift that will continue to expand in the years to come.” Holleran sees this shift as a positive harbinger for Xplore Technologies in the commercial sector. Xplore is preparing to launch its fifth generation tablet PC and has sold around a hundred thousand of its iX104 units since the company began. Xplore Technologies launched its iX104C4M rugged tablet PC to meet stringent battlefield requirements for military vehicles and its Clean Room iX104C4 PC for pharmaceutical and food industries in 2010. The company pioneered outdoor readable displays and wLAN wireless solutions.

Mr. Holleran is available for comment on the evolution of the tablet PC and the industry shift to tablet PC from keyboard-based computing.

For comment or to schedule an interview, please contact Laura Grock at (312) 943-1106 or lgrock@janispr.com.

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