Tablets are the tip of the smart TV spear. According to our Global Video Index Report, “following Apple’s release of the iPad 3, the amount of video watched on tablets jumped 26%.”
While Apple holds the title of tablet champion, other tech companies are looking to take market share (and connected viewers) away from the Cupertino firm. Microsoft, Google and Amazon are all looking to build connected video ecosystems around their tablets, and attract viewers and dollars in the process.
Here’s a brief rundown of the main players competing for a piece of the growing digital media pie.
Google’s Nexus 7 features a smaller form factor than the iPad, as well as a lower price point.
A slick new Android OS and cool features like facial recognition mean that this could be the first real “iPad killer.” Initial reviews are largely positive
(even noted Apple fan MG Siegler admits that he likes the latest Google tablet
When the Nexus7 is coupled with Google TV and the Nexus Q
, Google’s streaming media player, the big G has all the pieces in place for a connected video ecosystem to fill with online video content. We’ll have to wait and see how the market responds, but it’s clear that Google is taking tablets - and the connected home - very seriously.
(For a hands on look at the Nexus 7, and further discussion about the battle for the connected living room, check out this video featuring Sean Knapp
, Ooyala’s co-founder and CTO).
Microsoft recently announced a new Surface tablet
to compete with Apple, Google and Amazon.
The surface tablet will run a Microsoft operating system, and presumably link to the Xbox and PCs, so viewers can easily move media from one screen to the other.
But Microsoft does have one strong advantage here: the Xbox. The Xbox interface is easy to use, and streams premium content right to the big screen. The ability to tap into millions of these gaming consoles is an advantage for the Redmond company that can’t be overlooked.
The Kindle Fire has an attractive price point and is built for media. We’ve written up this device on VideoMind before
, and believe that Amazon, like Microsoft, Google and Apple, is looking to build a connected media ecosystem around its tablet.
Rumors of Apple TV have been bandied about the ‘Net (can we still call it that?) for years.
Expect Apple to continue to innovate and target connected video viewers with their next generation of iOS devices, even if they don’t look like your TV.