Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tablet, Phablet or Smartphone?

So how much would you pay for a tablet, or would you rather have a Phablet, or just a good smartphone? Does size matter? Do you have to be been seen with a 10”, 8”, 7” or a 5.5” device?
We find ourselves constantly asking what we want and what is the best fit for us? What is clear is that the only word that matters is ‘convergence’ and tablets may be just a stepping stone and far from the answer.
We have seen the emergence of eink readers and also their decline. Yes they may still sell and yes they may be good reading devices, but you don’t find many calculators around today as the functionality is absorbed into other more functional devices. The eInk readers are long past their sell by date and although the technogy still has legs the ereaders don’t.
We have seen many try to establish a tablet position on the back of the iPad. The reality is that many have failed and for a host of reasons. What is interesting is that the likes of the Kindle Fire and Nook which were aligned to retail brands and services have fared relatively well and driven down the price for many. Samsung and the Google offers have put in a respectable delivery but many more technology driven companies have failed.
Microsoft were determined to recapture the market with the Surface but it so far has lacked that something that it should have clearly had – the same OS and functionality as the laptop. The company is now writing off $1bn after missing sales targets, but isn't giving up and is unveiling two new Surface tablets.
Enter that supermarket Tesco with its Hudl tablet. Will it like the Amazon Fire appeal to Tesco’s customer base and offer a cheap but high quality alternative, or will it die a thousand cuts and have little style or designer appeal in a designer label world? It not just about delivering the cheapest, it’s also about creating something to be seen with. You don’t go to a black tie event clutching an Aldi bag. You may not want to be seen huddling up with a Hudl in public.
Having just upgraded to a Samsung Phablet, the Note 2, we don’t want to be carrying a luggable tablet around that has the same functionality, but is merely bigger. We don’t want to trying to manipulate spreadsheets and word documents on a smartphone that demands thin and nimble fingers and thumbs. The Samsung pen is a clear bonus and is truly amazing, but it’s the fact that Microsoft have given us a free Office app with our Office 365 licence so making all documents truly accessible and editable on the move. All our contacts, social networks, outlook email, gmail accounts, Skype and many more applications are now with us at all times. We can even watch our home security CCTV cameras and be alerted to disturbance and much more.
So it’s not just about, price, size, functionality and design but about lifestyle and that’s what make it easy to see today’s winners and hard to guess tommorrw’s.


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