Canalys reported last week that over 1/3 of all PCs delivered in 2012 were Tablet computers.
Of those, about half were Apple tablets – either an iPad or an iPad mini.
Let that sink in for a moment.
From a market and business perspective, this is staggering. But more importantly (and far more interestingly) this is another high-frequency signal that for many consumers the PC products of yore –mega power with a mini half-life– are a thing of the past.
And in its place is a light, portable, appropriately powered, crisp-screened, inexpensive device that serves as a gateway to everything. It’s the access point to your entertainment, your business, your family and the Internet. It’s your own personal window to the world.
But this isn’t 2010 – you don’t need me to tell you that the iPad is going to change the world and that it’s super sweet and shiny and magical and it juliennes carrots in a SNAP because there’s a good chance you’re reading this on an iPad right now. But what you might not know is what cable TV and ISP providers are doing to make the tablet the glorious thing Apple’s marketing team has done such a good job of making out to be.
To begin with, the second-screen experience (the experience of interacting with TV programs through a secondary device) is made possible by wireless high-speed broadband Internet. And sure, it could be done with laptops, but nothing beats watching TV with a tablet. It’s navigable with a single hand and a peripheral eye, it’s built for quick-loading apps that allow for easy engagement, and unlike a notebook PC, the battery doesn’t set your lap on fire.
And don’t forget all of the cable apps specifically built for tablets. HBO’s got one, ESPN’s got one, TBS, Showtime, Cartoon Network, and HGTV have one. Not to mention pretty much every cable provider offers an app that allows you to watch tons of On-Demand TV and movies. With a broadband Internet connection you can watch TV everywhere. Expensive marketing firms have dubbed this TV Everywhere.
And social media on a tablet – I can be watching a show, determine the show has officially jumped the shark, and be whining on Twitter before the scene that caused the shark jumping is even over. The future is NOW!
But what it all boils down to is the commitment that cable is making to bring your second screen (and for the fan-boys, third screen and fourth screen) to life. By giving it the tools, apps, and the high-speed connection that puts the gas in the tank, cable is making good on the promise that Apple made lo those many (two and a half) years ago – that the iPad is awesome and it’ll change everything.