If you are in or related to the tablet business, then your financial outlook and attitude are on the rise. Lately, analysts have released sales and prediction figures for both Amazon’s Kindles and Apple’s iPad in batches of 12+ million units. Amazon, leading up to the Christmas holiday, was selling Kindles at a rate of 1 million a week. Apple’s rate for iPad’s has been just as brisk with an even longer time on the market as compared to the Kindle Fire.
- Information station — news, e-mail, web, aggregate readers like Flipboard
- Entertainment station — Netflix, YouTube, music, Angry Birds
- Learning station — e-Books, e-textbooks, educational apps
As more consumers purchase tablets, and we approach the tipping point toward mass adoption (as with smartphones), our consumption patterns will shift. Whether it is sheer convenience, instant gratification, portability, or the like, consumers will do more with these devices. At the same time, the operating systems driving tablets will mature to offer easier content creation, sharing, and feature sets.
Since tablets are media consumption machines, other media delivery systems will decline in appeal. Specifically, the total volume of print media should continue to shrink. The gaining popularity of e-Books reduces the need for as many printed books. Document sharing and collaboration tools like Dropbox or Evernote allow you to read, markup, and retrieve what you would have recently sent to a printer — especially appealing for business professionals. To-date these tools are somewhat restrictive and clumsy, but they will not remain this way.
Tablets versus printed material is not a zero sum game. For the foreseeable future, both will provide their own utility. If you are in the business of providing printed sheets, however, you might well want to expand your capabilities. We all still have a need to consume information, collaborate, and communicate. Content, whether delivered digitally or analog, is required. The opportunity, then, is to be the source for creating, repurposing, and distributing that content regardless of form but with respect for function.
photo: Pirate Alice