November 30, 2011
Web tablets were all the rage in the US last Black Friday as eager consumers flocked to online stores to sell out the glossy gadgets in just a matter of hours. Mashable Tech reports that sales for Apple’s iPads and Amazon’s Kindles went through the roof Friday, with customers purchasing as much as four times as many Kindles as they normally would. And the Monday that followed, aptly called “Cyber Monday”, didn’t disappoint as it simply continued where Black Friday left off. TechCrunch writer Robin Wauters reports that colossal online marketplace eBay ran a deal for the popular Apple iPad 2 Monday and was sold out in just 2 hours, which averages at an incredible four iPad 2 tablets sold every minute. The Sydney Morning Herald notes that this frenzy for tablets won’t be ending with just those two days, but will continue well into the holidays, as demand for tablets as holiday gifts ranks only second to clothing, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The Herald further cites the CEA to have stated that US consumers are expected to spend an average of $246 on electronic gifts alone this season, including tablets.
Web technology researcher Gartner Inc. has predicted that though many less expensive tablets such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet will be preferred by many buyers, Apple’s iPad is still expected to outsell them all, consisting an estimated 73 per cent of the almost 64 million tablets to be sold worldwide by the end of the year. The tablets that most people adopt can impact web design since developers tend to optimise websites for the most popular ones.
The Herald notes that though tablets were relatively popular in 2010, it wasn’t until this year that these clever contraptions took the mainstream world by storm, being used in unexpected ways in such common places, as a “learning tool in schools, a digital cash register in shops and a menu at restaurants.”
Following in the Web Tablets Footsteps
With the advent of highly advanced devices such as web tablets being so commonplace, more and more software and gadget manufacturers are coming out with bolder, more innovative devices and technological advancements, confident in the demand of the more technologically open-minded consumers of today. Two of the most recently revealed innovations come from one already gargantuan gadget factory and the other from a surprisingly new industry altogether. Apple of course is leading the way yet again, this time with the Apple TV set, which according to news.com promises to reshape television the way the iPod and iPhone reshaped music and mobile phones. The revolutionary TV is set to seamlessly combine internet with traditional TV, allowing viewers to watch their favourite shows as they are broadcast or record them for later, as well as catch videos from the internet through Hulu, Netflix or Youtube.
A surprising company to jump right in the gadget bandwagon is Japan’s leading carmaker Toyota, which is achieving leaps and bounds in its industry by unveiling its futuristic concept car called the Fun-Vii. The innovative automobile is proudly called “a smartphone on wheels,” by Toyota president Akio Toyoda, according to news.com. The site further notes that the car has the ability to change its exterior visuals, “works like a personal computer and allows drivers to connect with dealers and others with a tap of a touch-panel door.” The car is said to be displayed in Toyota’s Motor Show this weekend, while Apple’s TV is set to be released in mid-2012.
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