What do you think of the phablet as a concept? Smart phone + tablet, that is. Samsung and LG are the two players offering this type of device now, with some saying that Samsung’s Galaxy Note is ahead of LG’s Optimus Vu is in the lead in terms of video, battery, display and overall user experience. Fans also gasped in shock when LG’s Optimus Vu launched in Korea at close to $900. If you read Mike Elgan’s post and reader comments here, most agree it is a step in the right direction. 

Phablets let you economize in terms of space (5″ screens should be big enough to read, write and watch), without compromising on functionality. The winning models will be those that combine video, voice and basic work functions (note taking, graphics, email) while remaining on the light side. 



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Great Commentary on What Tablets Mean for Magazine Business

Check out this interview with Lee Isenberg, the former editor of Esquire and Time magazine veteran. Isenberg points out the growing number of magazine subscriptions among tablet owners. This is a promising sign for an industry that had been struggling to get its fair share of digital dollars. It also suggests that the industry can charge for content and not be as tied to advertising for revenue.

In the interview conducted by Temple University’s Dr. Brooke Duffy (ASC Phd ’11), Isenberg (ASC ’70) says:

“The magazine business is finally getting the opportunity to sell subscriptions (in the past they have not been successful here). The Kindle Fire is the breakthrough in terms of selling subscriptions. Amazon is taking a small share of subscription money, and the rest will go to the publishers. Interestingly the cost of subscriptions will be higher even though the cost of distribution is lower. My guess is that consumers/readers will pay more to get their favorite magazines in tablet form or in bundle form. I do that now. I get The New Yorker at home but I can’t remember the last time I picked up the hard copy; I read it all on my iPad…having the content on a tablet is a pleasant and easy way to consume a magazine. It will be a boon to publishers.” 

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Tablets To Host Loyalty Clubs

Tablet entertainment and commerce is getting enhanced with loyalty clubs. Amazon Prime, which gives customers free shipping and streaming services at an annual fee, is offering benefits to Kindle Fire users as well. Those who have not used Prime instant videos over the past year are getting a free month of Amazon Prime service, as soon as they register their device. 


What it means for marketers:  A higher order of tablet users is emerging – the frequent shoppers who are committed to their retailer relationships.


Action: Go beyond the typical comparison of tablet users to non-users, when calculating the value of this new customer segment. Look into shoppers, loyal customers and advocates who conduct transactions and post reviews through their tablets.


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