For anyone who watched Star Trek, you have probably though “wow, it would be amazing to have the technology they have.” We may not have Holodecks or transporters… yet, but we do have something they used in almost every single episode. Tablets. Tablets in Star Trek were mono-colored glorified e-readers, at a glance anyway. But now we have tablets the same size as the sci-fi TV show that can do almost anything a full desktop can do. With the release of the iPad several years ago, tablet ownership rose steadily every year. But there was one problem; cost.
Cost is no longer an issue though, with Kindle Fire, one of the most affordable tablets out there, almost anyone can afford their own handheld computer. In fact, and this is a big surprise, 22% of Americans own a tablet! That is almost a quarter of the population. The biggest shocker is the addition of competition. Last year Apple owned the tablet market with 81% of all tablet owners owning their product while Android only had 15%. In as little as a year iPad owners only make up 52% while Android tablets made a huge jump to 48%! That is a huge jump, and great for consumers. Not to mention there has been a massive rise in Tablet trade in’s.
This is amazing news for consumers because this pushes competition. For people a bit underwhelmed with the iPad (actually the 3rd iteration) you should expect bigger surprises with the next iPad release. In fact, with the rise in smaller tablets, like the Kindle Fire, Apple has begun production on the iPad mini, which is amazing news! The industry is just beginning to find the happy medium of functionality and portability. You don’t necessarily want a tablet that fits in your pocket, but you also don’t want to lug around a big slate everywhere you go. For instance, my Kindle Fire has a cover that makes it look like a book, which allows me to hold it and carry it like one with ease.
Speaking of Kindle Fire, 21% of Tablet owners own the Kindle Fire. This is a huge success for Amazon, which will only get better with the release of the Kindle Fire HD and the huge price cut in the original Kindle Fire. With Tablets becoming more and more popular some people thought eReaders would fall out of the mainstream, but it seems eInk still has some fight left in it. The reason for this is that tablets are backlite, which is very difficult to use as a book since it strains eyes after a while. eReaders tend to be top lit or not lit at all, like a read book, allowing you to read just as long and comfortable as a normal book. Not to mention the incredible battery life that usually comes with them.
We are in the middle of the golden age of the Tablet. Tech is advancing fast and becoming smaller and smaller, allowing more functions in a smaller package. Will Android surpass the iPad by next year or will the iPad mini reassert Apples control over the tablet market? I’m not sure, but with Windows Surface just around the corner I’m more excited than ever to find out.