While market buzz has focused on general purpose consumer tablets like theiPad, many vendors believe the opportunity will be in optimizing the form factor for specific applications.
In the case of Cisco and Avaya, this application is enterprise users wanting to communicate and collaborate on the move, with a device more portable than a PC and with a larger screen than a phone.
Dell is already jumping on this bandwagon with a new program to market its Streak device, a five-inch tablet/phone hybrid, at vertical markets, notably healthcare.
As for Avaya, like Cisco, it is putting faith in the touchscreen tablet format as a next generation experience that could boost uptake of applications like videoconferencing - one of the industry's slowest burning technologies, often because of the limited usability of devices.
Called Avaya Flare, the 11.6-inch unit claims battery life of three hours of active HD video, and it can be tethered to a desk via a docking station. It comes with Avaya's unified communications software and a new interface called Flare User Experience.
It runs Android and can access the Market, or customers can use Avaya's Ace application development toolkit. Flare will ship in the fourth quarter, priced around $2,000. The Flare User Experience software will also be ported over time to other devices such as iPhones and other smartphones, Avaya said.