Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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October 31, 2012

What growing tablet market means for gadget-lovers

(Continued)

This holiday season could establish a pecking order for the variety of tablets now cluttering the market as well as provide insight into what consumers value: price, functionality or app and entertainment options.

The $29 billion tablet market is attracting new competitors looking to offset flagging revenue in the personal computer industry, which is expected to shrink this year for the first time in a decade. Others see an opportunity to leverage the devices to reach consumers more directly.

"The value proposition for a retailer is to drive additional sales of their physical goods or to build brand recognition," Alexander said. For example, users who pick up a Barnes & Noble Nook are likely to turn to the bookstore chain when they want to get their hands on the next hot novel.

That strategy usually includes making little or no profit on the tablets upfront. Companies can always make money later, said Alexander, by introducing tablets with new features in the second generation — as Amazon has with its Kindle Fire line. The important thing is getting a foot in the door.

But so far, Alexander said, no one's managed to hit pay dirt with that business model.

Only Apple has shown it can make a profit in this increasingly competitive market. It prices its tablets at a premium and cashes in on the thousands of apps developed for them.

Yet the company reported that device profit margins on the iPad took a dive in the last quarter, raising some questions about whether the company can keep up its red-hot performance. The iPad currently has over 60 percent of the market, but that's down from 80 percent in 2010.

To get a new piece of the market, Apple introduced the smaller, more portable iPad mini but barely downsized its price. The 8-inch tablet's cheapest model is $329 while Google and Amazon are offering comparable tablets for $199.

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  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Comiskey.jpg Sterling not the only bad owner

    As the Donald Sterling era in with the Los Angeles Clippers looks to be winding down, many are calling him the worst owner in sports history. From being cheap with the players to his most recent racist comments, it's hard to argue against.
    Yet, there are a few owners of athletic teams who can give Sterling a run for title of worst in history.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

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