With sales of printed newspapers in decline and widespread expectation of free news online, publishers need a radical change of strategy in the way they deliver content, to win back the public’s wallets. News site paywalls are currently testing the most straightforward route, offering users unique and diverse content in exchange for a subscription fee, in a bid to effectively monetise a loyal digital audience. The question is, will tablets – bringing with them a richer, and more engaging user experience – be the bridge that turns the trickle of paying digital news readers into a flood?
Posts Tagged ‘iPad’
Despite a deluge of new device offerings, tablet PCs look unlikely to become mass market this year, meaning individual manufacturers will have to strongly differentiate their products to grab the limited share of the market available. Apple still dominates in consumer minds, but Samsung, Blackberry and other Android devices look set to offer a compelling challenge.
As expected, February’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the CES show in January revealed a surge of new tablet offerings from the major hardware manufacturers, all vying to compete with the success of the ubiquitous Apple iPad.
But while the tablet market is clearly in ascendancy, at present it is still very much nascent and we are unlikely to see the same growth this year as we expect from other categories, such as Smartphones.[i]
2011 tablet market likely to remain niche
A recent article in The Guardian  posited that one of the best things that could happen to Apple to ensure continued success of the iPad was for competitors to launch tablet computers, and for these products to enjoy moderate levels of success. As happened with the iPod many moons ago, the thinking here is that a batch of serious rival devices would help cement tablets as a ‘legitimate’ category in consumers’ minds, encouraging continued sales and crucially allowing Apple to progressively refine and release further iterations of their hardware. (Although the impressive sales of the iPad so far would suggest this won’t be an issue.)
The trend towards connectivity and mobility is driving consumer technology renewal and sector growth21/09/2010 15:16 by Anna Parkinson
The consumer technology market in Western Europe has grown for the third quarter in a row (year-on-year figures) according to a recent report from GfK TEMAX. Growth is being driven by increasingly demanding consumers who are seeking more innovation, connectivity and mobility, which is leading to a blurring of market categories.
The same GfK TEMAX report showed that Q2 2010 saw a +3.6% increase in comparison to the same period last year. Particularly strong this quarter were the Consumer Electronics (+8.9%) and Information Technology (+4.6%) sectors. And this isn’t surprising, given the rapid pace of innovation and thus the enormous growth in breadth and depth of product range for both sectors.
Despite smartphones and mobiles with open operating systems (making up a quarter of the mobile market in Western Europe) having a volume growth of 62%, the Telecommunications market actually declined in year-on-year figures (-0.2%). It’s an extremely positive sign that the consumer technology market appears to be back on track, particularly after the year which was dubbed the “year of crisis”.
Expect to see a vibrant and competitive tablet PC market over the next 12 months as Apple sell 2 million iPads globally in less than 60 days.
Apple certainly knows how to get the media and public excited about their latest creation, the iPad. Everyone is talking about the iPad and tablet PCs and this is not just tech press but also mainstream news bulletins. Apple is extremely proficient at sparking people’s imagination around all the creative ways their products, iPhone and iPad, can be used. Apple’s famous strapline for the iPhone was “there’s an app for that” which creates a powerful perception that anything is possible, and the same applies on the iPad.
The third device: Can the early success of eBook readers continue when faced with the introduction of multifunctional competitor devices?26/02/2010 12:15 by Ryan Garner
The mainstream consumer generally opts for a device that integrates lots of functionality. If the ‘third device’ with greater functionality does take off, eBook readers will, more than likely, become a niche product.
I love the idea of an eBook reader especially one with an ‘always on’ 3G connection. The battery life is superb, lasting in many cases well over a week and the e-ink screens are almost essential for prolonged spells of reading. I like the idea of receiving my favourite newspaper and other magazine subscriptions directly to a device all ready for my morning commute.
However, my desire to own an eBook reader is not driven by a personal urge to carry around a library of novels. It is actually for business purposes. I could make better use of my commute by catching up on the news and reviewing work documents. Indeed, having access to meeting documents or presentations on an eBook reader whilst travelling to a meeting would be highly convenient.
In recent weeks, so much has been said about what 2010 will bring to the tech landscape that one can’t help but reading with a pinch of salt. For someone that works with customer opinions and observes their behaviour for a living, it becomes apparent that some of the predicted products and services, if they do make it to market, are destined to remain within that niche group of technology enthusiasts that created them in the first place.
Many of course have potential, and if implemented and marketed correctly have high chances of making it to the wider masses. That is, if they were ever intended to do so.
So – what is going to really work?
The answer is, well.. simple. Or, rather: simplicity. If given a choice, customers will always choose and glorify products and services that will offer them “more” in less time and with fewer headaches, the tools that empower them to reach a given goal with the minimum of disruption.
One of the hot topics at this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) was tablet PCs. Microsoft showed off Windows 7 (multi-touch version) on an HP tablet and, despite Apple’s non-attendance, there was much hype around a potential ‘iPad’ (iSlate, iTablet?). Many believe that the hype will become a reality on 27 January when Apple hosts an event entitled ‘Come see our latest creation’.