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Who will win the tablet wars?

April 11, 2011 2 comments

Hey everyone,

Did you see the new forecast by Gartner? Analysts there are saying that the Apple iOS will dominate the media tablet market through 2015, owning more than half of it for the next 3 years.

Well, that’s certainly a bold statement given the fact that the Android tablets have hardly scratched the surface of retail store shelves.

According to Gartner,  “Google’s decision not to open up the Honeycomb, its first OS version dedicated to tablets, to third parties will prevent fragmentation, but it will also slow the price decline and ultimately cap market share at 39%.”

As for RIM, Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner said, ““It will take time and significant effort for RIM to attract developers and deliver a compelling ecosystem of applications and services around QNX to position it as a viable alternative to Apple or Android. This will limit RIM’s market share growth over the forecast period.  It will be mainly organizations that will be interested in RIM’s tablets because they either already have RIM’s infrastructure deployed or have stringent security requirements.”

It was only two months ago that Research firm IHS iSuppli estimated that by 2013, the iPad’s market share would decline to less than 50% of the overall market.

LOL!  Tablet wars haven’t really even started yet, but the analysts are already boxing it out in the numbers game.  I’m surprised that they are that far apart in their predictions, but I guess that makes good headlines.

At this point, I don’t think anyone really knows what will happen, but it certainly makes for interesting reading and gives me something to blog about 🙂

I’m curious…Who do you think will have the largest tablet market share in 2015?

Gayle

Don’t let one bad Apple …

March 4, 2011 6 comments

…spoil the whole bunch (and your future).  The Apple Tax, while totally unjustified, isn’t worth losing sleep over.  In the big picture, it’s really no big deal.

Although the iPad led tablet sales in 2010 (easy when you’re the only game in town), Apple’s position at the top doesn’t mean very much (it’s an early adopter market), and it won’t last long.

Research firm IHS iSuppli estimates that by 2013, the iPad’s market share will decline to less than 50% of the overall market. And although I’m not an industry analyst, frankly I think that share will decline a lot faster than that.  Here’s why…

For 10 years, Apple dominated the portable mp3 player market because it had no challengers.   And yes, the iPhone had a lead time of 3 years without any real competition in smartphones, but when Android phones hit the shelves, the iPhone was displaced from the top in 6 months.

Less than a year ago, the “extraordinary” iPad was launched and already it is facing serious competition from exciting new Android, WebOS, BlackBerry and Win7 devices hitting the shelves.   These devices are open, have more functionality (USB, memory cards, Flash, …) and will be cheaper than the iPad.  The iPad will be “just another expensive iOS device” in the not-too-distant future.

Okay, so let’s look at today…

15 million iPads were sold in 2010 – no doubt a great market for Angry Birds and other apps of general global appeal.  But most newspapers have a local audience.  And locally, most of their readers aren’t carrying around an iPad.

(Sidebar: if publishers think they have a product that can compete in a global market, they should launch a start-up for it and not jeopardize their core business).

Bear with me while I walk you through my logic on why iPads aren’t worth worrying about…

Pew Research’s State of the News Media 2010 reports that 71% of internet users, or 53% of all American adults, get news online today.   Only 35% of online news consumers have a favorite site (i.e. they are avid readers). And according to PEW, one in five avid readers (20%) would be willing to pay for their  news online.

So let’s assume that 2/3 of the 15M iPads were sold in the USA.  That means across the total population of the USA, about 3.23% own an iPad.  From PEW Research, we know that 31% of the population reads news online, 35% of those are avid readers, and 20% of avid readers are willing to pay to read the news.  So that’s the audience we’re really interested in, right?

If I just look at daily newspapers in the States and not even consider the 5K+ weekly papers, you can see that on average a newspaper has maybe 100 or so subscribers who are willing to pay for their daily newspaper on an iPad.


You do the math – it’s a very very small audience.

Now I have every confidence that tablets will be a major platform for newspapers  and NewspaperDirect is committed to offering more support on those devices than anyone else.  In fact, ND is already working with a number of manufacturers on their new tablets.  And while I cannot disclose the details (I’d have to shoot you), I can say “Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised”.   Many of these competitive products are significantly better than the 1st gen iPads and, from what I’ve heard, the 2nd gen too.

So instead of panicking over the 30% tax, let’s just “bite back” and focus on that multi-platform strategy we discussed before.  Sure, Apple is known for great innovation and creating a outstanding user experience, but it’s running out steam quickly with the iPad.

Stay tuned next week for more on the next generation of devices and technology that will make you feel even more confident about the future of your newspaper.

Gayle

Updated PressReader for Android Released!

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

News junkies rejoice! PressReader v1.1.11.0221, now available for download through the Android Market or PressReader.com, brings users some great new features, functionality, enhancements and fixes.

With PressReader for Android v1.1.11.0221, users now have the ability to:

  • Easily set up new accounts using in app registration
  • Share articles via Twitter and Facebook
  • Select and designate favorite titles (synced with PressDisplay.com “My Newspapers”)
  • Sort and view titles in Store by favorite designation or recently ordered (in addition to country or language)
  • Intuitively browse supplements grouped under respective main publications with the option to “download all supplements”  (a note to Pay As You Go subscribers:  once a supplement is purchased within a supplement group, all others within that group are available free of charge)

…where they will be able to enjoy:

  • A streamlined auto-delivery process where a publication’s latest issue will be downloaded rather than its complete issue history
  • A notification message appearing in the system bar advising download completion
  • Enhanced search functionality when searching within a specific country (i.e. results from that specific country will appear first)
  • The ability to select a specific account if multiple accounts have been authorized

…and will no longer have to worry about:

  • The unavailability of 7 free trial issues associated with each new PressReader installation
  • Not being able to “Connect to the server”
  • Purchasing individual issues without receiving a confirmation prompt (applies to Pay As You Go subscribers only)

As always, we would love to hear your feedback, comments and suggestions! Please let us know how we’re doing by sending us a note through PressReader’s email utility, located under the Settings option, or by sending an email directly to androidsupport@support.newspaperdirect.com.

Cheers,

Michael

Steve Jobs…You can’t be serious!

January 25, 2011 18 comments

It is my distinct displeasure to share with you this week’s recipient of the  “You Can’t Be Serious Award”… iPad gatekeeper, Mr. Steven Jobs.

Last year, under the guise of offering us freedom (freedom from porn, flash, etc), Mr. Jobs became the iPad/iPhone dictator, decreeing what was appropriate for iPad/iPhone users and what was not.  I was rather surprised by his holier-than-thou declaration, “We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone.” but didn’t pay it a lot mind back then.

But now Apple’s CEO has gone too far.  Apple is now rejecting newspaper applications it used to approve because Mr. Jobs wants a cut of every publisher’s business, citing “Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected.”

This story in TownNews.com states pretty well what’s going on…

The nut of the matter is that newspapers or magazines will have to play by Apple’s strict rules – including a 30 percent revenue share – if they want to distribute newspapers via the Apple App Store. Apple also has strict rules about sharing with publishers, information about customers who download newsstand applications.

Apple has made it clear that it won’t approve any apps that try to by-pass Apple’s revenue cut. Newspapers and magazines won’t be able to have any kind of “pay wall” that doesn’t include 30 percent for Apple. Passwords, registrations and other sign-on devices will be barred by the App Store unless Apple gets its cut.

Mr. Jobs sure didn’t have any problem “using” newspapers to sell the iPad at launch time last year. Now he’s doing his best to destroy their business and double-charge their subscribers.

So, what does that mean to you the readers?

It means that you can’t get your newspaper on the iPad without paying Mr. Jobs directly.   Apple will only accept apps that use a 100% “in app purchase model” (i.e. Jobs will control all the money and all the users).  No longer will your publisher be able to offer you a great deal – like bundled print/digital subscriptions. If you’ve purchased your newspaper online (i.e. can read it in Safari on the iPad), you have to pay again for the right to read it as an App on the iPad.  Paying twice for the same content – how ridiculous is that!

What does that mean to publishers?

It means that you cannot run your business the way you want.  Mr. Jobs will charge you 30% for the pleasure of hosting all your valuable content on his servers.  You won’t even know who all your readers are – Mr. Jobs will own your customers and declare “freedom from data piracy” as the justification for stealing what should be rightfully yours.   No other device manufacturer out there tries to control user data.  What gives Apple the right?

It’s really very scary; Mr. Freedom Fighter is showing his megalomaniac stripes.  I guess it should come as no surprise after Apple announced it wanted to do its own newspaper app.  We should have seen it coming that Jobs would find a way to hold publishers hostage – it’s his way or the highway!

European publishers are already getting ready for a legal battle and I expect North America won’t be far behind.  Meanwhile, all we users can do is fight this injustice with our “Freedom of Choice”.  The iPad is a cool device, but the “cost” of “freedom” is too high.

Android is  looking better every day!

Gayle