Tablet devices like the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Motorola XOOM are changing our world in ways that people are now just beginning to realize. The rise of the tablet and the apps that run on them is causing a shift to occur that will affect the things people buy and how they access content. Products that had unique hardware for enabling common tasks or conveying information are about to be replaced.
Applications (called Apps), running on a tablet computer, are going to become the defacto way to access content (news, tv, movies) and to control devices (TVs, PCs, game consoles and more). The Cable service that used to give you a remote control, will now give way to an app that runs on a tablet. Xfinity, Time Warner Cable and others are leading the charge here with their respective cable tv apps. With these apps, and others from Slingbox, and Netflix, the remote is built-in. The Tablet just became your new all-in-one and it will go much further than just controlling your TV.
Regarding content (news, tv, games and movies), the publishing industry is still figuring out the eBook/eMagazine business model and distribution strategy (see prior Ebooks post). Clearly, tablets will play a huge role in how we consume news. News Corp is jumping at the opportunity with The Daily, a paid application that gives you daily news for $39.99 for a two year subscription.
It doesn't stop there. Last week, I used my iPhone to advance a PowerPoint presentation on my PC, more as a way to demonstrate how change is occurring than anything else. Car companies like Hyundai Motors are now offering the owners manual for their Hyundai Equus car in a digital format - they provide an iPad as the actual owners manual.
Look for much more than just owners manuals, magazines, movies and remote controls going forward. Tablet apps are going to explode and the demise of consumer electronics dedicated hardware has begun. Look for more and more games to be tailored for tablets. How much money will game controller firms throw at hardware in the future?
So in a way, the tablet and their affiliated Apps becomes the new All-in-One. Going forward, it will be less about the tablet itself, and more about the Apps that run on the tablet that becomes the consumer selection criteria. The race for tablet App development has already started, but it is about to explode.