by Kenneth Rudich
Let the tablet wars begin!
First there was the aggressively low price point of the new Kindle Fire Tablet at $199 as compared to a minimum of $499 for the least expensive iPad.
Then India’s Ministry of Education unveiled the Akash tablet computer at roughly $50.
How exciting! It has us feeling a little giddy here at Marketing Strategy Management – though not necessarily for the reason you might think.
Truth be told, the products themselves hold less interest for us than do the value proposition strategies that have been put into play. Insofar as it’s all about creating value in a marketplace where perceived value means different things to different people, this stark differentiation in the use of features and pricing has set the stage for a wildly good clash of marketing strategies in the mobile tablet market.
As you may have seen in other posts and videos on this blog, we expound the idea that value is defined as the perceived benefits relative to the price or cost. The dynamics of what constitutes value can be altered at any time by tweaking either or both of these variables. Witness the recent moves by Netflix, along with the customer bristling that soon followed, as a vivid illustration of this very point.
The tablet wars could animate this concept even more.
In one corner, we have a product(s) brimming with bells and whistles at a substantially higher price.
In the other corner rests the hope customers are willing to sacrifice a goodly number of features as trade-off for paying a lower cost.
Then in the middle stands an amazingly inexpensive upstart with the currently modest ambition of giving its country’s poorer students greater access to educational resources…at least, that’s what India’s Ministry of Education is saying for now.
The question of what may yet arise in the tablet market, once this all shakes out with consumers, is an invitation to pull up a chair and munch on popcorn while watching these guys go toe-to-toe.
Will old loyalties hold fast? Will the market as we know it today pretty much stay the course? Or will the devilish tandem of consumer fickleness and a laboring economy exert enough pressure to force a major overhaul in what the market will bear?
And perhaps the most intriguing question of all: is it possible that tablets will eventually become little more than a loss leader for selling content?
Though the dice has been rolled, it’s not too late to place your bets. What do you think will happen in the wake of the tablet wars? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.