Although the tablet landscape has changed dramatically throughout 2011, the iPad and the iPad 2 remain the benchmark by which all other tablet devices are judged, and if the quarter has proven anything, no device is yet to meet the lofty standards set by Apple’s devices.
Both the current and projected sales figures have proven that the iPad is still king in the tablet market, and will remain the key player in an industry that is set for unprecedented overall year-on-year growth up until at least 2015.
But the newest threat to the iPod’s tablet dominance is perhaps the largest. Amazon’s Kindle Fire looks set to offer a unified service that rivals the iPad’s own. Amazon’s established presence as a content-delivery channel, already in possession of millions of consumer’s details, encouraged the pre-ordering of around 95,000 devices on the first day of pre-release.
While this may be slightly troubling news for Apple, the larger pool of tablet devices can only be considered as a positive for digital magazine publishers.
As we reported in a recent blog post, the Kindle Fire will be geared towards media consumption, and in particular, interactive colour reading experiences. It is truly exciting and encouraging for Amazon to put their name to hardware that allows for this kind of reading.
Perhaps what it emphasises more than anything however is the enduring potential of the industry, and how important digital reading experiences will be in this overall growth. If Amazon’s faith is well placed, 2012 looks set to be a huge year for tablet magazine publishers and the devices they are viewed upon.
Apple delivers a superior and unified user experience across its hardware, software and services. Unless competitors can respond with a similar approach, challenges to Apple’s position will be minimal
Carolina Milanesi, Gartner Research
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