The German firm Neofonie held a press conference in Berlin yesterday demonstrating the "WePad," a Linux based tablet with support for Android and Adobe Air apps. Available for pre-ordering as of now, the WePad starts shipping in August of this year. Coming in two different models, customers will be able to choose from a 16 GB Wi-Fi-only version for €449 Euros (about $595) or a 32 GB WiFi + 3G version (with extra features such as GPS and and full HD 1080p via HDMI) for €569 Euros (approximately $754).
Featuring a 16 by 9 (11.6-inch) horizontal touchscreen, a 1.66 GHz Intel based processor, 1 GB RAM, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, 2 USB ports, SD card reader, SIM card slot, and full flash support just to name a few, Neofonie has definitely created a worthy iPad contender. In fact, it's funny I should mention the iPad, as Neofonie's whole marketing strategy seems to be revolving around the iPad's disadvantages. In their demonstration (see video below), Neofonie mentions flaws such as always having to hold the iPad with one hand while navigating it with the other (the WePad features thumb navigation), static apps (the WePad runs live apps letting you view information without actually opening the app itself), and the lack of flash (and yes you guessed it, the WePad features full flash browsing).
With statements such as the iPad being "a great device yet with little flexibility or features," or "the iPad lacking full flash support as Apple just wants to sell tons of apps," Neofonie is directly picking a fight with Apple. It's going to be very interesting seeing how Apple responds over the next couple of weeks, and if the WePad manages to achieve equal publicity and popularity as the iPad. Does the WePad interest you at all? Sound off in the comments section!