Monday, October 10, 2011

Time to stop imitating and start innovating!

A growing number of tablet makers are discovering that they have to drop their prices to compete with the iPad.

In fact, Amazon has hopped straight onto the discounted hardware model and is shipping its Kindle Fire at a give-away price from day one.

Even with the move towards fire-sale prices however, most of the tablet-makers are not doing brisk sales -- in fact, some industry insiders believe that the tablet market is turning out to be a major bust for "brand name" players, except Apple.

Why is this?

How come none of the other "big names" can replicate Apple's success?

Well I'm wondering if it's not actually the "tablet" computer that has people (and their wallets) captivated. I'm starting to think that it's actually just the iPad.

The iPad may be a tablet computer but no other tablet computer is an iPad. This is a one-way equation and as such, means that other wannabe tablet-makers are wasting their time and their money trying to compete because... they'll never be able to build an iPad.

Today I received some junk mail in my letterbox from Noel Leeming and two items made be think "they have to be kidding!".

The first was a "Pre-order Now" ad for the new "Sony S" -- Sony's new tablet computer.

Now I'm sorry but there's just no way I (or anyone else I know) will spend $950 on a tablet that isn't an iPad.

This product is being pitched as a device for music and gaming -- are they kidding? Tablets are not gaming platforms and I can buy a rather nice little MP3/MP4 player from China for $50 that will do the job very nicely.

The other ad which made me look twice was a pitch for the new Sony e-Reader. Once again, I'm not spending $230 on an ebook reader that isn't a Kindle.

No, I'm not a brand-name snob -- I'm just aware that the Kindle is "the" ebook reader. It has everything anyone might want *and* it comes with wireless or 3G access to Amazon's incredible ebook shop. Why would I spend as much for a second-tier device as I would for the recognised industry leader?

I'm afraid that companies like Sony, LG, and all the others will have to learn that the days of making money by playing the "me too" game are quickly drawing to a close.

Simply trying to out-tablet the iPad or out ebook the Kindle is only going to earn you red ink on your sales ledger.

Come on you people -- stop imitating and start innovating!

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