It seems the commoditisation of Tablet devices is happening here and now. Funny that, Tablets as a notion has only been around for 2 years and already every key software and hardware provider has a vested interest in making this work so not to loose market share to the competition.
The list of people in the market is endless with Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry/RIM, Microsoft, ASUS, Google, HP, LG, Amazon, Samsung, Motorola, Huawei, Optus, Telstra, etc. When Apple first launched the iPad, access for a common punter on the street was hard, as prices ranged between the $800-$1000 mark, with most competitors going with a strategy that saw them underpricing the iPad by around 10-20%.
At this price though Tablets would still be a luxury item for most, as they are not really a laptop replacement and don’t replace all your entertainment needs, but yes when you have one you do really see the convenience it delivers to your lifestyle.
However I think now as we see all of these players in the market, all trying to get their hardware is the hands of the consumer to sustain their relationship with their share of wallet, you see the emergence of a price range between $300-$500. At this price range (*which may lower further) you can certainly see Tablets becoming the household commodity.
In Australia according to the Online Consumer report by Nielsen, 8% of all Aussies own a tablet device and this is expected to triple within this year.
However if we have another HP like frenzy with $99 Tablets, where they decide to exit a range and the market we could quite easily see these numbers increasingly dramatically. Another player that is likely to flog alot of their range at a very low margin is Blackberry with their Playbook seeing the sale of only 200,000 units over the last quarter globaly. Playbook in the US have already come down to $249 outright and this come with the inclusion of their native email client.
Blackberry unlike HP don’t have the liberty to exit the tablet market quite yet as the QNX system which runs the Playbook is the same operating system which will be running all their new smartphone devices coming out – so loyalty to the system is key.
Amazon also a few months ago announced the roll out of an Android based tablet which will be the evolution of their Kindle and this is approximated to be around the $250 mark.
So from my point of view the direction is clear – there is a Tablet out there for everyone ;-)!
Another interesting graph to come out of the Neilsen report was content consumption:
Ref: Nielsen State of the Online Market 2010/11
When you look at the content that is being consumed and if you agree that mobile devices are becoming accessible consumer commodities, I think as marketers we should be looking at ensuring the content we are creating is atomised, social and accessible across mobile channels more than ever before.
Unless we think in this way, it becomes an exceptionally expensive exercise trying to create content that fits TV, Desktop, Mobile, Tablet, Point Of Sale, etc. However if we do, it becomes a simple and effective exercise :-).
In relation to tablets there is a lot of development in technology too and how all these devices are now being setup to talk to each other much like the Flingo service – but that’s for the next article ;-).
I hope you found this post interesting and if you have a point of view or questions please feel free to share.