Speculation these days about Apple’s new tablet referred to as the iSlate could really blow the hinges of the doors for Location Based Services.
Tablet fever has only begun to filter through in the latter part of 2009 but the full extent of the advances from this industry has not even begun to ripple through to mainstream media circles.
It appears that the pundits are as yet unsure how users are going to react to it or the actual concept itself is still at such an early development stage that even the producers of tablets are lacking in confidence about how important it may become.
So far, Amazon and Sony have stolen the show when it comes to future consumerism trends. Their debut into the eReader world has really proved that people are prepared to splash out in new technology, however, both companies have played it very safe. The eReader idea is not a massive gamble either in futuristic terms becuase it’s only tackling one traditional form of comunication – albeit a long standing one!
The tablet on the otherhand, which certainly arose from the eReader concept and as some may also suggest the ashes of the netbook. It’s our opinion now that the tablet could be that big potential opener for location based services. The reasons are quite simple:
- LBS are struggling to make an impact yet on mobiles
- the physical size of mobile phones may be their greatest weakness to date
- tablets are a half-way house between mobiles and netbooks
- the engineering of small handheld devices has come on leaps and bounds
- its sheer visual impact cannot be over-estimated
The games industry is currently the only winner in the LBS race despite everyone elses best efforts to join the free-for-all even after quite some time to scheme, plot and execute their plans. This must therefore point to inherent disadvantages that manufacturers cannot yet overcome in small hand held devices. Or, it may just be the case that since the people who buy these expensive devices are also the ones who cannot fully appreciate the smallness of browsing the internet. The tablet therefore will completely reverse this trend.
Furthermore, for advertisers they will have the luxury of designing bigger and more effective ads that will:
- be better integrated alongside proper content
- not be confined to tiny text links
- include other heavier forms of media like video
The last option means that web sites like ours at iGuidez can also forge ahead with video guide development since a bigger screen will always be preferred over a tiny screen regardless of the technological advances in this sector. Until the base price of handheld devices fall dramtically (which is not unlikely to happen too soon) manufacturers are going to have to catter to older generation ie not teenagers who happen to be the real target group. The rest of us older folk are merely guinea pigs!
eReaders, iPhones and others have set a very fast pace for the handheld browsing experience but it looks likely that 2010 could really expose the true winner for location based services in the shape of the Tablet.