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A Window Into Tablets

A recent article on the website gaming examiner compared the Kindle Fire HD with the iPad Mini.  The author highlights relevant facts.  The HD version of the Kindle Fire is superior in a few spots, while the iPad Mini is deficient except for iTunes, where it enjoys an advantage with more and better content.

Read my 2011 Prediction about the importance of 7 inch tablets 

The article was fair, but it made me question.  A light turned on.  I began to think.  Tablets are only as valuable as their ecosystem, for which they merely serve as a window.   The window we select matters less than the view we receive.

When I look through the Apple window I see everything my family wants and needs (not to mention some things we don’t need, but might be convinced to buy).   There are movies, music, television shows, and games.  There are apps galore.

While sifting through the selections, there is almost zero garbage (poorly written apps, adult content apps, worthless movies or music).  In general, looking through the window of an Apple product is a beautiful experience.  I didn’t say cheap.  I said beautiful.

Improve the View

Something Microsoft, Amazon, and Google must all discover is consumers are increasingly buying tablets based on the view.  These three companies believe the room (hardware) is more important than the view (content).  They are mistaken.

Why do hotels located on the ocean offer different prices for their rooms based on the view?   They know their guests want to see the view.  Some will be able to afford these rooms with the view, while others may not, but everyone wants the view.

Here is the simple truth.  Apple is more concerned with the view, than the window.  This is not to say they don’t make beautiful windows or rooms, but they understand a beautiful window without a view is pointless.

Who do you think the majority of consumers are going to give their money?  The companies with great rooms, or the company whose great rooms come with a view?

The recent ad by Amazon pictured above compares devices.   They make the point that their windows is bigger and better, but lets be honest.  Compared to the view you receive from Apple’s iTunes ecosystem, Amazon is complicated and sorely lacking (except for books).  Perhaps this is why they keep comparing rooms and windows.  They know their rooms don’t come with much of a view.

When it comes to digital content every company makes a person sweat from purchase to use except for Apple.  Apple knows all this, which is why they are largely unconcerned with these companies.   Until these companies develop a view iPad will just keep crushing them.

Stop Comparing Tablets, Start Comparing Ecosystems

Comparing tablets grows more meaningless by the day.   Catching up to the Apple hardware or even surpassing it grows more meaningless by the day.

What every student, commentator, and industry leader should be comparing is ecosystems.   What type of ecosystem will the customer be connected to if they purchase a particular tablet?  Does this ecosystem deliver the experience consumers need and demand?

When comparing the cost of these devices, everyone should factor in the value of the ecosystem.

For instance, the iPad Mini costs roughly $130 more than the Kindle Fire HD, but does the ecosystem equalize the purchase?  For all the wasted software purchases, lousy download experiences, and time spent figuring out how things work, will the consumer gladly fork over $130?  Judging from the early iPad Mini numbers, we already have our answer.

If competitors want to give themselves a shot at victory, they better turn their measurements to the ecosystem.

If I had to bet…

When comparing consumer ecosystems Apple wins.  It’s no contest.

This is where the battle must be fought with intensity, if any of their competitors are going to make a dent in this “iDominance .

The company whose understanding of this truth approaches reality is Google.  In fact, when you look at their wide range of products, and the improvement of Android, this seems to be their focus.  Maybe they are staying quiet, because they don’t want Apple to know they get it.

I want to see Google revolutionize their entire ecosystem to compare favorably with Apple’s.   Someone better informed can write about this subject.  I just want them to do it.  Why?

Competition is good for all of us…after all the Nexus 7 made certain we would see the iPad Mini!