Where is the tablet?

Since a few months I see a distinct increase in web exposure of the so-called ‘tablet concept’: a thin, 9 inch in diameter computerlike device without keyboard, intended to be used as a replacement of reading books and magazines, and allegedly competing against the ever popular Netbooks. There is an increasing number of eBooks or eReaders introduced in the market and the buzz about Apple developing such device is heating up day by day. But what is this ‘tablet’, and how does it compare to the current portfolio of eReaders such as the Kindle?

I believe that a successful ‘next generation eReader’ (i.e. tablets/MediaPads or whatever it will be called) will be characterized by the following features:

  • Rich media experience. Thus inclusion of video, audio, pictures
  • Flat, no buttons. Have you ever seen a magazine with buttons?
  • Always connected. People want to subscribe to newspapers and get the latest news instantly.
  • Touch based. A lot of gestures to be learned
  • Disruptive for the printing industry. There we go again. First the music, now printing

If there is a party that can pull this off it might be Apple. Sources say that the device was finished but got stuck on negotiations with the service provider for the wireless connection. Rumour has it that Apple will introduce the device somewhere in the first half of next year.

What would be the business benefit for such a device? Will this be a step closer to a paperless office. I guess that all depends on the functionality and price of such a device. After all, in a business environment the tablet will compete more or less with a laptop or desktop computer (since most people are staring at their screen 6 hours a day anyway). For mobile workers or sales representatives however, this may be a dream come true. Imagine going to a customer and show your newest product in the tablet. No printed cheesy brochures, always up to date and immersed in rich media. And what about conferences? In pharma many conferences are organized for the Health Care Professional. It is known that Big Pharma spends big on these conferences, so why not invest in a tablet to include when participating at the congress? Put all clinical data on it, conference program, information about the venue, etcetera. And since they have the device anyway, why not let them subscribe to your valuable Clinical Data Channel, so that the newest data is pushed to the HCP automatically?

So many possibilities. Or am I too much in overdrive here…? Don’t think so. Have a look at the following video and just amaze yourself where the future is going.

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