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The NY Post has made a quiet, and very interesting, move. The Post has blocked access to its website via the Safari browser on the iPad. The ONLY way to access Post content is through the iPad app, an app that users must pay for. As of this writing, Post content is still available free via any browser on a PC or mobile phone— but you have to wonder how long that’ll continue.

Of course, the Post is owned by News Corp., which is bullish on charging for digital content.

This is a very interesting move. One of the issues surrounding iPad apps has always been that users can get the same content free via a browser. If browser access is shut off, will that spur app sales? Or, will users go back to their PCs and mobile devices as long as the content is free there? And, will other publishers follow suit and shut off browser access on now only the iPad, but on any device with an Android app?

Stay tuned. The Post very well may have begun a new strategy that could take off.

 

 

Okay, so maybe I will try to kick start this sorry blog in the event that there’s someone out there paying attention. If not, well …..

You’ve seen the press reports. The big boys are starting to come out with their Android tablets. Samsung. Motorola. HP. LG. Lenovo. They’re all looking for a piece of the pie.

I’ll talk about what they’ll fail at some other point. But for now, we’ll focus on publishers, who have difficult choices ahead. Unlike the iPad — one device, one operating system, one screen size and resolution — Android comes in a myriad of confusing specs. There’s no one standard; they’re all in different screen sizes, resolutions and operating system, and that means publishers have to do one of two things: (1) find a market-leading an innovative solution so that one application can play across every Android device available or (2) make a bet on one of the manufacturers.

I think (2) is like betting on whether Kansas City or San Diego will win the world series; you can make that bet but you’ll lose. Publishers who want to get in the game in a meaningful way need to bet on a product that goes across every Android device. And they shouldn’t wait. Many of these devices will be out this Fall, and a publisher that starts right this minute has a chance to be out for the Christmas buying season — and this one will explode with the iPad and the Androids.

Those that wait will find themselves behind the curve once again — just like publishing was during the birth of news online, mobile and that iPad thing. Let’s get ahead of the curve for once.

The views expressed in this blog are mine alone

Give Apple credit — its once again quickly cornered the market on a product by hyping it to the point its become a must-have (though few people can tell you why, really). And it looks like Apple’s iPad will stay the dominant tablet for quite some time — certainly though this year, maybe even into next.

The recently concluded consumer electronic show cause much Android buzz. Manufacturers are promising all sorts of devices this year they claim will challenge the iPad for market supremacy.

They’re wrong. Here’s why:

  • Many android devices are killing themselves by joining forces with cellphone companies. In order to buy the Samsung Galaxy — a very well received Android device — who have to also buy a 2-year data plan through Verizon. Why would I do that when I can go month-to-month on the iPad? If other android tabs follow suit and force customers to buy unnecessary data plans, their sales will suffer.
  • The Android tablets will market against themselves as well as the iPad. My tablet has a larger screen size; it’s lighter; it has a better resolution; you can download apps from the Google store; yada yada. So while the up and coming Android tablets flight for market share, Apple will win with a simple message: We were here first. And we’re the best. Now try to beat us
  • Users like familiarity. Apple’s familiar. The new Motorola tablet (whenever that launches) is not. Neither are most of the other tablets coming on to the market.

There are other reasons Apple will win. But these are among the biggest.

 

 

I’m really excited about Android tablets. I don’t like the iPad’s lack of flash,
no USB ports and since I don’t have a Mac, don’t like the lack of compatibility.

And I fear, in the end, I may end up buying one.

It looks as if Samsung, being released Sept. 18, and Motorola, possibly coming
in October, are being released through cell carriers. That scares me. While no
one has said so, does that mean the carriers will require data packages and
contracts in order to get the tablets at a reasonable price?

That’s how the cellphone game works. Get a phone that retails for $549 for $99
as long as you sign a two-year contract and buy a  $29.99 a month data plan.
Will carriers try the same trick with tablets — $299 with a data plan but
$699 without? And will they try to force a two-year contract on all tablet
purchases?

If they do that, these android tablets will be dead on arrival.  Consumers are getting sick of being nickled and dimed for every new gadget that hits the market. That consumer frustration helps Apple. The iPad, for all of its flaws, doesn’t require any contracts and users can buy a data plan month-to- month. That’s enough to make me
change my mind and buy one.

The huge IFA conference in Berlin just wrapped up, and I was struck by one
thing: most of the Android tablets to be released in Q4 this year will be
released outside of the  U.S.

Toshiba announced it will release its 10.1-inch tablet in European, Middle
Eastern and African markets, but was silent on when it would come to the U.S.
Viewsonic’s 7-inch tablet has received some early, strong reviews, but U.S.
consumers won’t be able to get it here (unless they order online, of course).

While no one’s saying so, this appears to be a reaction to the iPad’s strength
on the U.S. market. While many analysts thought that Android manufacturers would
try to roll out their devices in time for the holiday shopping season, it looks
as if only smaller players (Archos, for example) will do so. (Rumors persist that
Motorola will be out in a few months, but I’ll believe it when I see it).

In the end, it probably makes sense for Android manufacturers to wait until Q1.
By then, they should be in a better all around position — from a technical,
product and marketing standpoint — to make a splash.

That is, of course, unless Apple decides to announce its iPad V2 in Q1. Then all
the media hype goes back to Apple

PC  World has a terrific piece that lists 32 tablets that could hit
market over the next six months. It gave me a case of deja vu.

When Amazon launched it’s first generation Kindle in November 2007, users rushed to stores and plucked the then pricey gadget off the shelves. It was difficult to find a store that had one readily available, and customers often had to wait weeks for one to come in. By the time other companies launched their devices —
months later — Amazon had cornered the e[-reader market. Now, roughly six of every 10 e-readers sold is a Kindle. With prices dropping and technology improving, there’s no reason to believe Amazon will lose its market grip in the e-reader segment. Sony and Barnes and Noble will gobble up much of the remaining market share, while other e-reader manufacturers will close up shop (RIP Que, COOL-er and IRex)

Fast forward to April 2010. Apple launches its first generation iPad. Users rush to stores and  pluck the pricey gadget off the shelves. It’s difficult to find  a store that has one readily available, and customers often have to wait  weeks for one to come in. There are no other real competitors in the space, so the iPad dominates and could sell 8 million units in 2010. By the time other
companies launch their  devices — between now and the first quarter  — Apple will have cornered the tablet market. There’s no reason to believe Apple will lose its market grip in the tablet segment anytime soon. While a couple of Android devices will make it (Motorola has the best chance, given its partnership with Verizon) most other tablet makers will will close up shop .

Interesting how history repeats itself.