Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Growing Roles for Devices for Mobile Commerce, Content

A January 2012 Apple event will focus on the Apple iBooks platform, observers are speculating.

Robust Kindle Fire sales over the month of December (Amazon already has said it sold four million of the devices before the end of December 2011) illustrate both the role of content consumption and mobile commerce as lead applications for tablets and other mobile devices.

Separately, Apple says it will hold a media event in late January 2012, with speculation that it has something to do with either advertising or content. That would illustrate the growing content consumption role of devices in general, with a strong tie to mobile commerce.

The Kindle Fire interface, for example, features tabs for “Newsstand, Books, Music, Videos, Docs, Apps, Web.” That is perhaps the most-logical way to organize a content consumption device.

But each tab is a gateway to commerce, namely, the ordering of new content to put in user libraries.

Kindle Fire users seem quite happy with the product, in general, according to analyst Gene Munster.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said half of the 8,529 Fire reviews he surveyed gave the tablet 5 out of 5 stars, compared with 48 percent of those polled who gave the tablet a 5-star review on 13 December and 47 percent who gave the tablet a 5-star review on December 8, 2011.

The point is that both content consumption and commerce are becoming defining features of most mobile devices. We have been fond of saying mobile phones have become "computers."

It might be more appropriate to say they have become content consumption and mobile commerce platforms.

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