Tablets will change everything. (Including mobile video.)January 26, 2010: 2:16 PM ET
Meet the next new platform for ads, services and apps.
By Nickhil Jakatdar; CEO and co-founder, VuClip
There has been no shortage of talk about tablets. New offerings from HP (HP) and Lenovo were hot topics at CES, and you may have heard about a little get together that Apple (AAPL) is hosting tomorrow. While consumers (and tech blogs) are busy speculating on the details of Apple's offering, there is something bigger at stake. As Apple has shown with the iPhone, the company can succeed wildly where others have fallen short - this week could be the beginning of an entirely new era in computing.
With Apple's intro into the tablet market and the recent tablets revealed from HP, major computer manufacturers are introducing devices for the home that run on a mobile operating system, not a computer operating system.
This is revolutionary because this also means advertising, services, and applications leveraging the mobile OS will have to adapt to reaching consumers in a different setting than being on the go. And they will also have the key benefits of better screen size and a bigger, more powerful computing device than even a smartphone.
When you think of the app landscape, the tablet spells new potential for applications focused on the home that just need a bit more space – family calendars, grocery lists, recipes, note taking - all of these make more sense on a tablet than a phone.
Niche or mass market?
Beyond energizing the app economy, the tablet could offer an unexpected boost to the mobile advertising market. Will the tablet user market grow to such a size that advertisers want to target tablets differently than mobile devices? My opinion: Yes, tablets will be yet another new, and different, platform for marketing. What is good for the front porch or couch will be very different from what works while commuting or making a call.
For mobile video, the tablet will be a game-changing device.
People have been predicting that mobile video would break through to the mainstream for years, At first, mobile devices were simply not up to the task – the poor quality failed to catch content providers' interests and without good content, consumers weren't going to go through the extra effort required.
Recently, smartphones have given consumers access to much more content, yet the quality can be spotty, and viewers are still somewhat limited in the amount of content available. With tablets, everything will change. Viewers will finally have a chance to experience a high-quality, immersive media experience on a portable device, and it is exceedingly likely that video consumption habits will be changed forever.
For mobile video providers, tablets will offer the most powerful hardware available to date, and will be a chance to leapfrog the logjam of current solutions. Content owners will look for mobile partners that already have scale with both mobile distribution and advertising. If mobile video providers are up to the challenge, the upcoming wave of tablets can be the catalyst to break open the mobile video market in a way that providers, content owners and consumers will all benefit.
As January 27 approaches, the world will be waiting to find out what Apple has up their sleeve. And it might just be a revolution in mobile computing.
Jakatdar is CEO of Vuclip, a global mobile video publishing and distribution platform based in Milpitas, Calif.