SmartMobix View Point: e-reader vs. tablet PC

21 Feb

Manufacturers and publishers were encouraged by the heightened sales of e-readers over the holiday season.  They are keeping their hopes up that the gadget and, the subsequent, e-book sales will continue to be strong in the quarters to come.

SmartMobix holds a different view to this.  The e-reader sales were temporarily boosted by the holiday gift giving and the honeymoon will not repeat itself.  e-readers do have their advantages in eye fatigue, power consumption, viewing angle, weights, etc.  However, these advantages will plead no contest to the on-coming popularity of tablet PCs that come with trendy outlooks, colorful displays, multi-point touch sensors, multimedia and computing functions, and, even, audio/video conferencing capabilities.

It all started with iPad from Apple.  The fad is in.  Acording to SmartMobix, the forecast of tablet PCs sales has been adjusted from 40, to 50 and to a even higher number of million units in the year of 2011.  It is also expected the market will sustain the high growth rate for the next three years.  In the 2011 CES, we have seen some new models of tablet devices – Motorola Xoom, RIMM playbook, Samsung Galaxy S and the like.  More manufacturers will be releasing more new models as the year of 2011 unfolds.  Some argue that e-reader addresses the needs of serious and dedicated readers.  While the argument has its validity, no one is certain that how much room is left for the device to co-exist with tablet PCs.

What is unique about a tablet PC is its versatility.  It is the extension of the desktop and notebook PC with built-in mobility.  It is applicable to work as well as family life.  Aside from others, the use of e-mail and the availability of application software are something e-reader can’t compete.  We believe that the single-purposed e-reader will limit itself to the niche market and its unit volume won’t be able to compare with that of the tablet devices.

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