What is happening with the Tablet market?

by Frank 18. August 2013 06:00

I run a software company called the Knowledgeone Corporation and our main job is to provide the tools to capture, manage and find content. As such, we need to be on top of the hardware and software systems used by our customers so that we can constantly review and update our enterprise content management products like RecFind 6 so that they are appropriate to the times and devices in use.

I have spoken in previous Blogs about tablets and form factors and what is needed for business so other than providing the following links, I won’t go over old ground.

Will the Microsoft surface tablet unseat the iPad?

The PC is dead, or is it?

What will be the next big thing in IT?

Could you manage all of your records with a mobile device?

Why aren’t tablets the single solution yet?

The real impact of mobilization – How will it affect the way we work?

Mobile and the Web – The real future of applications?

Form factor – The real problem with mobile devices doing real work

Since my last Blog on the subject we have all seen RT tablets come and go (there will be a big landfill of RT tablets somewhere) and we are now all watching the slow and painful demise of Blackberry. In both of these cases we have to ask how big, super-clever companies like Microsoft and Blackberry could get it so wrong. Just thinking about the number of well-educated and highly experienced marketing and product people they have, it is inconceivable that they couldn’t work out what the average Joe in the street could have told them for free.

Then let’s also think about HP’s disastrous experiment with its TouchPad tablet (another e-waste landfill) and it becomes apparent that some of the largest, richest and best credentialed companies in the world can’t forecast what will happen in the tablet market.

In my opinion the problem all along, apart from operating system selection (iOS or Android?), has been matching needs to form factor and processing power. For example, no one wants a 12 inch phone and no one wants to write and read large documents on a 3 inch screen. This is why most of us still carry around three devices instead of one; a phone, a tablet and a laptop. This is just plain silly, what is the point of a small form factor device if I have to supplement it with a large form factor device? Like most other users, I really just want to carry around one device and I want it to have the capabilities and processing power for all the work I do.

It is for this reason that I believe the next big thing in the tablet market will be based on phones, not tablets. I envision slightly larger and much more powerful phones with universal connectors (are you listening Apple?) and docking capability. I would also like it to have a minimum of 4G and preferably 5G when available.

I want to be able to use it as a phone and when I get to my office I want to connect it to my keyboard, screen and network. I want to be able to connect it to a projector when visiting customers and prospects and I want a dynamically sizing desktop that knows when to automatically adjust the display to the form factor being viewed. That is, I want a different desktop for my screen at work than I want on the phone screen when travelling.

This brings up an interesting issue about choice of operating system as Windows owns about 95% of all business PCs and servers. I have previously never thought about buying a Windows Phone (I had one once a few years ago with Windows CE and it was awful) but my ideal device is going to have to run on the Windows operating system to be really usable in my new one-device paradigm.

I wonder why Microsoft didn’t think of this?

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