There has been a surge of new tablet announcements lately. Kobo rushed out four new versions (Glo, Mini, Touch and Arc) to beat Amazon to the punch with their announcement of the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire HD. And both of these companies are in a race to grab market share from the recently introduced iPad with Retina Display, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Barnes&Noble Nook Color and Nook Touch with Glowlight and the Google Nexus 7.
How a person decides which one of these tablets to buy is becoming a daunting task, especially since many of the tablets also have various screen sizes, screen types, functionality and wireless access options. CNET posted a great article last month taking consumers through the choices and options, but unfortunately it didn’t include the latest models from Kobo and Amazon.
What it really comes down to is how and where you’re going to use your tablet. If you just want to read books and newspapers, then you’re best off going with the Amazon Kindle or B&N Nook e-readers. If you want to browse the internet, watch movies, play games and more, then you want the iPad, Galaxy Tab 10.1 or Google Nexus 7, and if you want a device with some of the benefits of both, then you have the Kindle Fire and Nook Color in the middle.
Having all of these choices has also become a challenge for content publishers like Soundview. Our solution has been to develop and adjust our available formats to work with most devices, while launching apps specifically for iOS and Android devices.
What does the future hold? Most likely, over time some manufacturers are going to lose market share to the point that they drop out of the mix (BlackBerry?). And when the dust settles let’s hope we have a few clear options with standards for content formats. Consumers deserve to be able to purchase content from any source, and have access to it no matter what device they’re using. We’ll see if this is just a pie-in-the-sky wish or not.