Outsell Inc. recently published a report with the title “Device Wars” meaning Smartphones, E-Readers and Tablets as Enterprise Information Channels.   This report explores how the handheld device markets are unfolding in unique ways, takes a close look at the devices themselves, and explores them in the context of the opportunities and challenges information managers face. It is based on Outsell’s recent web-based survey of 803 US consumers and interviews with senior executives across publishers and device manufacturers targeting this space.  The report includes:

  • Analysis of the landscape for handheld devices and a primer on classifying them
  • Outsell data on device ownership in the US, forecast market penetration, and reactions to the iPad;
  • A table examining primary attributes of the different devices and analysis of why the opportunity presented by each is unique
  • A look at how advertising is likely to unfold across “untethered” content
  • Imperatives for information management professionals as they move into content deployment via devices.

In the last twelve months more smartphones were sold worldwide than laptop computers. In addition, attention on e-readers and the corresponding e-book market rapidly increased. Most recently, Apple announced its entry into the computing tablet market with an iPhone-like device named the iPad. All of these devices allow readers to connect with content in new ways. Outsell calls this emerging experience on handheld devices “the untethered web.”   Given current growth rates, it is likely that untethered devices will collectively exceed the combined sales of laptop and desktop computers in just a couple of years’ time. Such a change could bring about the same kind of upheaval in the information industry as the initial migration of content online. The good news here is such change will bring new opportunities as well, yet deciphering these opportunities remains a complex task.

Business and academia are already leveraging many of the devices in the market today. Consumer adoption of devices has been substantial, and Outsell sees no reason why consumers won’t bring their expectations of and behaviors around an “untethered” lifestyle to the workplace. Outsell recommends that information managers take the following considerations into account as they move into content deployment via devices:  a) Match Strengths to Device.  b) Experiment, Experiment.  c) Recognize Opportunity to Reset the Rules. d) Let Business Define Technology.  e) Partner With Publishers (or other content providers). f) Understand Your Organization’s Own Device Micro-Market.  This is a ‘must read’ report.  To order the report contact: Outsell Inc.

BIIA Newsletter May II – 2010 Issue