The Hidden Strategy for Tablet Loyalty
Tablets are a playground for innovation for manufacturers and software developers, and the latest tablet launches are showcasing breakthrough improvements to the mobile computing user experience. As a result, analysts are forecasting significant growth. IDC just increased its media tablet forecast, stating that compelling new products and lower price points will drive stronger shipment growth through 2016 to reach 222.1m units.
The tablet market landscape has changed considerably recently, with Microsoft launching its own Surface tablet as the showcase device for Windows 8, Google announcing its new Nexus tablet with Jelly Bean, and Apple, of course, expected to unveil a smaller version of the iPad later today. Both Microsoft and Google are making huge investments to create a compelling tablet user experience that can credibly compete with Apple.
Blurring the lines
Microsoft’s Touch Cover is one of the most innovative improvements to tablets lately, further blurring the lines between tablet, e-reader and notebook. In a video, the company shows how the new Touch Cover for the Surface tablet creates a physical user experience similar to that of carrying around a book: “We designed it organically to feel like a book. When you walk away, you will carry it like a book,” the video explains.
Google’s Android Jelly Bean promises not only an adaptable UI based on whether it’s a smartphone or 7- or 10-inch tablet, but also, 3D maps, extensive voice search capabilities and Google Now, a feature that enables tablets to conduct prompted, or unprompted searches based on location and time of day. Your tablet will now tell you if you are going to be late for an appointment based on your current location and the current time.
All of the work that Microsoft, Google and tablet OEMs are pouring into this new mobile device category is great for expanding market adoption. However, the reality is that six months from now there will be new tablets with the next set of breakthroughs tempting consumers to trade-up, potentially to a different brand. Consumers will choose an OEM with a track record for supporting devices with FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) updating throughout the device lifecycle.
That’s why regular software updates are so important to keep consumers happy with their current tablet purchases. Lenovo is doing just that with its line of Red Bend-enabled Lenovo LePad tablets featuring our vRapid Mobile software for providing firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updates.
Panasonic’s commitment to continuous software updates goes even further. The company is giving enterprise customers of Panasonic’s Toughpad Android and BizPad tablets the ability to manage and update their embedded enterprise applications over the air, powered by the Red Bend Software Management Center.
In a world where new hardware comes thick and fast, FOTA updating offers an alternative and effective way for tablet-makers to future-proof their devices.
Roger Ordman is director of product marketing at Red Bend Software