CES 2010: Tablets and Apps-A second opinion
I will be as kind as I possibly can in the following comments about some feedback and advice from the 2010 CES Show that I read this morning at www.openforum.com, American Express’ website where they give advice to small and medium business owners (SMBs). Here’s the link to the article.
My comments are directed at two comments, one about what the advent of the “tablet” and the other about how SMBs should deal with the growth in the mobile internet.
In particular, the author notes that SMBs should re-format their current PC-based website for a tablet and then he points out that SMBs will need an iPhone and Android app for mobile.
Respectfully, I am confused by this guidance and would advise SMBs otherwise.
I thought tablets were just little PCs much like the netbooks which are being sold now and as such why is there even a need to reformat a PC-based website for another PC? If the Apple tablet is nearly a foot long and all screen that’s about the same size as a 13 inch Macbook.
On the comment about needing an app I am definitely less confused and I cite a new report out from Forrester Research which says the smartphone market, which they define as “a mobile phone or connected handheld device that uses a high-level operating system, including iPhone OS, BlackBerry OS, Windows Mobile, PalmOS, WebOS, Symbian, and any flavor of Linux including Android”, is now at 17% penetration and will grow in size in 2010.
So if the entire market is 17% for these 7 operating systems how does an SMB address the other 83% of the market? Keep in mind no phone sold today outside of the Jitterbug service comes without a browser. I can’t think of many SMBs today that are prepared to spend what little money they have to spend on marketing to reach a sliver of their audience with an app when they could reach them all with a mobile-optimzed website.
Yes, Ruxter offers the ability to create a free, optimized mobile website which will render on ANY phone with a browser so I could be considered subjective in my analysis of these CES musings but I have sat with business owners and they say two things-1) I want to reach everyone and 2) I don’t have a lot, if any, money to spend. Many also say they are not happy with their PC-based website and won’t update it since their “web guy” overcharged them and under-delivered when it was first built. I’ve actually told more than a few SMBs to stop developing their PC-based site and leave it as is-solely there for a Google search result.
I, like the article’s author, am deeply motivated to help SMBs survive and I want them to prosper. Helping them be part of the mobile internet is Ruxter’s MO. However, if you want a second opinion about tablets and apps, take my advice-don’t worry about tablets, get a free Ruxter mobile site and don’t build an app.
Dale Knoop is the President of Ruxter, a mobile multimedia patents holder and an industry-recognized pioneer of mobile data services. In 2005 Dale won an Emmy while serving as the GM for Sprint TV. In August 2009 he launched Ruxter which allows anyone to quickly and easily become part of the rapidly growing mobile internet with a free, fully optimized mobile website they can share with anyone. You can contact him here. Follow Ruxter on Twitter.