How Are Tablet Computers Going To Fair In 2013?

| January 27, 2013 | Reply

English: Apple iPad Event

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last few months, you may or may not have noticed the surge in tablet computers. Since the announcement in January 27, 2010 by Steve Jobs of the iPad, computing just hasn’t been the same. In fact, it all changed on the one single day.

Believe it or not, tablets have been around for over 20 years in one form or another. In fact, many manufacturers tried and failed to produce and market their version of the tablet. Apple, in effect, reinvented the wheel with stylish design and really clever marketing.

According to Techradar, and I don’t know if they’re right. The first tablet computer was the GRIDPad which was launched back in 1989 (man that seems like a long time ago).

This wasn’t the smooth silky design that we see today, it was a rather bland basic mono-color portable computing device. It had a 10″ screen, could give you 2 hours of battery life, but would cost you a small fortune to purchase one. I think the prices were in the region of around $2,400.

OI don’t know about you, but I can’t see too many people buying these at that crazy price-point. However, with the emergence of the now snazzy iPad, they have grown in popularity, greater than we could have ever imagined.

The model is based on losing money on the device to try and sell you services through the internal eco-system. For example, with the Kindle Fire (owned by Amazon) they sell you a cheap tablet on the basis that they want you to consume their content via the cloud. The same is done by Apple with their iTunes platform and Google with their Google Play platform. In essence, any manufacturer not doing the same will, I believe, run into a lot of problems.


Saturation Point

Manufacturers that are just looking to make money from tablet sales alone are going to find this very difficult. I think this is basically down to innovation. You see, once a family has 3 or 4 of these tablet devices, they won’t really see why they need to upgrade their unit, just because the latest and greatest has a bigger screen or faster processor. The same thing happened with the Mobile (just ask Nokia) and I can see the same thing happening with tablets too!

So Why Are They So Popular?

I think it’s down to the Skype of consumers that can actually use one of these devices. From the school child in the playground to the Maths professor in the classroom. Even the older generation have adopted to this fascinating device just as quick as the younger population. This is simply amazing and pretty much unprecedented. According to the Online Publishers Association (OPA), they report that “tablet usage is exploding”. Consumers  aren’t simply doing work on these devices, they’re using them as media hubs. Media hubs that allow you to read books, shop online, watch movies, listen to music, purchase apps and the list goes on and on.

On average, people are spending over 14 hours every week on their devices. With youngsters it’s even more.

So what’s my prediction for 2013? More of the same and even a bit more. We won’t reach saturation point just yet. I think we’ve got a few more years to go.

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