Winner and Losers in the Tablet Wars

The long awaited Apple Tablet will finally be announced on Wednesday.  Like many folks, I believe the device will be quite successful and continue a transformation is how media is consumed.  As a result, i thought it would be worthwhile to review my quick takes on the winners and losers, apart from Apple of course, which will benefit more than anyone:


  1. Real time web participants.  As more and more folks have a network connected tablet at their fingertips at all times, it will continue the growth in usage of services such as Twiiter.
  2. Bloggers.  One of the primary use cases for the new tablet will be reading and catching up on your favorite blogs at all times.  In the short run,  don't know if the sheer number of readers will increase significantly, especially as most of the early adopters will be those who are already active readers of blogs, but the readership per post will certainly increase.
  3. Major media outlets.  Assuming they get with the Apple program, major media brands will benefit as the device goes mainstream and readers who recognize and trust major brands will be drawn into consuming more content.  Not to mention that the tablet will be able to make the trip to the rest room much more easily than a laptop!
  4. App developers, particularly gaming and vertical content vendors.  Just as the iPhone and iPod Touch became a new gaming and app consumption platform, the same will hold true for the tablet which will have the added benefit of offering a richer user experience.  In addition to games, I suspect there will be significant usage of travel guides, local search and other such applications, many of which have already been successful in the AppStore.
  5. Ad Networks that support all of the above.  As more media is consumed on such devices, ad platforms that benefit from the increase in content usage will see an increase in their reach and frequency.  One more reason why Apple purchased Quattro Wireless.


  1. Amazon.  Why have both a Kindle and a Tablet, especially if Apple can re-create a buying platform for books and magazines that is as compelling and easy to use as the Amazon store is on the Kindle.  Further, Amazon's efforts to woo developers to the Kindle run the risk of being too little, too late as most developers i speak with are already overwhelmed with supporting the iPhone and Android platforms and it will be easier to add the tablet to the mix than to add yet another platform such as the Kindle.  The same will hold true for the dozen or so other folks who aspire to the e-reader throne, especially as they don't have Amazon's heft or ability to drive low price points for a dedicated device such as the Kindle.
  2. Nintendo and Sony's handheld gaming platforms.  Some disagree with this assertion saying that the device wont sell enough units to make a dent in the DS and PSP, but in our household the usage of the iPod Touch as a gaming platform has rapidly eclipsed the handhelds we own and i suspect, as mentioned above, a richer UI will only serve to further drive this trend.
  3. Traditional media, including mainstream TV, producers that don't get with the program. This is not a new trend caused by the Tablet per se, but rather it will serve to accelerate what has been transpiring over the last several years.
  4. Microsoft.  Yet another device that will have zero content from Redmond and will further drive usage of cloud based services.
  5. Romance.  More media consumption at anytime and anywhere in the household, no doubt including the bedroom, won't be good for relationships with your partner!  Maybe divorce lawyers should be on the list of winners.

If you want further insights into prospective usage of the Tablet, Flurry has a great post of what they have observed over the past few weeks.  More importantly, I will be interested in your take on whether you will buy a tablet and how you expect to use the device!  

Room to grow?

The other day I decided to import my entire set of LinkedIn contacts into Twitter (via an intermediate step into gmail, so the whole effort was a bit kludgy) and follow them all.  Given the recent debates about whether Twitter has peaked or is still growing rapidly, I found the results interesting.  As a quick background, my Linkedin contacts are all professional, not personal, and virtually all of them are in the technology world and therefore presumably early adopters.  That said, first via a manual effort and then by using The Twit Cleaner, I found that 40% of them were not on Twitter, another 20% were on but had never posted and another 15% had posted less than 10 times.

So what does this decidedly unscientific survey tell me?

  1. Twitter still has a lot of room to grow in terms of new user acquisition, both here in the US and in the rest of the world, and
  2. Twitter still has an on-ramp problem that needs to be addressed such that those who do join can see immediate benefit and become part of the community, otherwise the growth may indeed peak sooner rather than later

You thoughts?