Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

65 million iPads – A New Era in Digital Media Arrives

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Although the excitement level for iPad 2, which probably should be iPad 1.5, is nowhere near the level that it was for the original iPad, the availability of the iPad 2 in stores today generated a notable news cycle. 

What’s also notable is the complete dearth of anything remotely credible as a competitive tablet, as the AP’s coverage emphasized, noting:

Competitors such as Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. can’t seem to match the iPad’s starting price of $499. Tablets that are comparable to the iPad in features cost hundreds of dollars more, while cheaper tablets are inferior to the iPad in quality.

I’m beyond baffled by this given that the PC and mobile phone boys have had plenty of time to simply follow Apple’s example of what a tablet should look like.  Microsoft says it won’t ship a tablet until 2012 which, given MSFT’s track record of late, will be more like 2014.

In the meantime, the iPad is plenty good, with Gartner expecting 65 million tablets (mostly iPads obviously) to be sold worldwide this year.  They’ve even gone so far as to predict a decline of PC sales in the face of the table onslaught.

ipad2

As tablets reach critical mass, how will they impact the way we in PR and communications do our jobs?

Unlike laptops that are too clunky and smartphones that are too small, iPads let people consume digital media in all forms – eMagazines, news, radio, social media, video, music – anytime and anyplace. Worries about battery life or connectivity are fading fast.  

And while the emphasis is on digital media, many argue that there will be room for more in-depth content such as books and thoughtful articles.  As the success of the Kindle demonstrates, people are comfortable reading thousands of words on their tablets.  What’s more , the tablet can help bring in-depth content to life with videos or slide shows and interactive demos.

For those of us fretting over the demise of daily newspaper and the perceived collapse of journalism, the rise of the tablet is a godsend.  Most likely it will lead to a population of consumers and customers that is better read and more informed than those of us addicted to newsprint.  (I admit, I still get a paper delivered to my door; can’t get over that just yet.)

Overtime, the rise of tablets will lead to a much more successful and healthy news media as business models and licensing issues get sorted out.  This in turn helps those of us in the PR, and will force us to become adept at the art of cranking out digital media content quickly and cost effectively. I can see the day when almost every press release includes a video element, not just the photos we provide today.

Thanks to Steve Jobs, a much improved way to consume digital media is here to stay. To Microsoft, Google, Motorola, et al, come on, get your act together!

More content, less money. The iPad’s ROI.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Tablets like what Steve Jobs and Apple just introduced have long been forecast in science fiction, so you just knew that sooner or later devices like this would become reality.

ipadFor example, in Arthur C. Clarke’s 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, Clarke describes something called a “Newspad” that Heywood Floyd, “plugs into the ship’s information circuit and scans the latest reports from Earth. One by one he would conjure up the world’s major electronic papers; he knew the codes of the more important ones by heart, and had no need to consult the list on the back of his pad. Switching to the display unit’s short-term memory, he would hold the front page while he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items that interested him.”

While there will be little need to know codes by heart, Clarke’s vision of getting electronic papers on a pad-like device is finally here.  To be sure the iPad is likely far from perfect, I fully expect that it will inevitably become more refined and in the process move us much further to full electronic delivery of premier content – much of which is currently paper-based.

Sure you can get content on either a smartphone or a laptop, but neither is ideal. The smartphone is just too small and the laptop is too clumsy. I just don’t find myself sitting at breakfast surfing news on my laptop, or trying to peer into a tiny screen on the BlackBerry.

Instead I get volumes of newspaper – big piles of it that inevitably end up being recycled.  Speaking of which, the environmental impact of all that paper is not good. Paper consumes large amounts of water and energy, levels forests, and requires many gallons of fuel to get it to my doorstep. Electronic delivery has almost zero impact in comparison.

I can, however, imagine using the iPad as my daily news feed. What’s more there’s economic justification simply on the basis of replacing paid-for printed content I currently consume.  While I expect to still pay for the electronic content, the price will go down significantly.  Note that some of the publications have yet to adopt eReader technology like what the NY Times currently offers, but publishers that expect to survive will offer similar technology. Based on my calculations, I figure I could save $652 per year, easily justifying a $499 iPad.

iPadROIchart

Beyond lowering costs, the iPad will deliver a much improved experience.  Publishers will be able to blend video and printed words. Instead of a few photos, I will be able to see the entire sequence if I so desire. I’ll also be able to look up related information, or make comments. Basically it’s everything we love about the Web, but in a nice magazine-like format.  When I’m travelling, all I’ll need to pack is my iPad and a cell phone. No longer will I need magazines, books, media player, GPS, or even a laptop. And, of course, there will be countless numbers of cool apps.

Sounds like science fiction? Not anymore.


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