Does the iPad want friends? For many months since the iPad was born, it seemed to be the only one of its kind, generating delight from fans and sneers from those who thought of it as just another useless, electronic toy. Somewhere out there, developers who thought the iPad needed some friends, put their noses to the grindstone or the design lab. Now even before the iPad celebrates its first birthday, there are at least 20 similar devices ready to friend the iPad – if indeed the iPad is social enough to welcome friends. And to be fair not all tablet devices that invoke the iPad comparison can really play in the same field. One especially “budget-friendly” model is thought to have more problems than features, but we’re not judging. Several others have a 7 inch screen which is thought to be too big for a phone and too small for a tablet. The tablet receiving the most buzz is the Samsung Galaxy with Android 2.2 operating system. It looks similar to the iPad but it has Adobe Flash support. Some point out that the Galaxy’s Hummingbird 1 GHz processor is more powerful, whereas the iPad has the less powerful A4 processor. Samsung people emphasize that the 7 inch screen is better for mobility. But of all who speak on the issue of tablet computers, none other than Steve Jobs was heard criticizing the iPad competitors for their penchant toward fragmentation. Jobs believes that customers are drawn to iThings for their integrated approach which is not only user-friendly, but well suited to business, personal and educational applications. In the Android world, he believes that the devices with their varied approaches require the customer to be more tech literate than necessary. Let the cage fighting begin.