By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York – E-reader company Kobo is diving deeper into tablets.
During a press conference yesterday, the Toronto-based company launched three new Google-certified Android color tablets, unveiled a new black-and-white e-reader, and unveiled new services.
The company previously offered a single color tablet alongside four black-and-white dedicated e-readers.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Seoul, South Korea - Samsung will compete with a growing number of kids’ tablets with the introduction of its first kid-targeted tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids.
The yellow tablet will feature preloaded Samsung-designed educational apps, parental controls, and access to applications available through the Kids Samsung Apps store. The tablet will also access Google Play and feature the full array of Google services.
Pricing wasn’t disclosed.
New York – Barnes & Noble again reduced the price on its Nook Simple Touch GlowLight e-reader to $99.
The $20 reduction places the GlowLight’s price just below that of Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite.
The immense popularity of inexpensive tablets has had a negative impact on the stand-alone e-reader category. In March IDC said about 18.2 million e-readers shipped worldwide in 2012, and while it expects the category to maintain that figure this year, e-readers will begin a permanent decline starting in 2015.
El Segundo, Calif. – Strong demand for smaller size tablets helped resulted in panel shipments more than doubling during the first quarter, according to IHS iSuppli.
The research firm reported that global shipments of capacitive touch displays hit 45.2 million units during the first quarter, up from 21.3 million during the same period in 2012, which is a 119 percent improvement.
West Covina, Calif. — China-based tablet maker E Fun has expanded its selection of Google-certified tablets to four with the launch of two models exclusively through Hastings superstores nationwide and online at GoHastings.com.
E Fun plans to offer only Google-certified tablets in the future as part of a new strategy to build its share of the value tablet market.
San Mateo, Calif. – Tablet shipments were up almost 60 percent to 45.1 million units during the second quarter, but could have been even higher, according to an IDC report.
The research firm noted that shipments were down 10 percent from the first quarter of 2013 and it blamed the lack of a new iPad by Apple this spring as the culprit for the fall off.
Apple shipped 14.6 million units during the second quarter, down from 19.5 million during the previous quarter. Apple also saw a shortfall compared to 2012 second quarter when it shipped 17 million units.
Berlin – Samsung will go to the IFA trade show here next month to unveil what is expected to be the company’s next-generation Note 3 phablet.
The company would say only that it will reveal the latest Galaxy product, but at last year’s show, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 2 smartphone/tablet hybrid with 5.5-inch 720p screen, S Pen stylus, dual-core 1.5 GHz CPU, and 3,100 mAh battery. The company’s invitation to the event said “Note the date.”
Arlington, Va. – Tablet ownership in the U.S. is expected to reach half of all households in the next 12 to 18 months according to Consumer Electronics Association research.
Four in 10 (41 percent) online U.S. consumers indicated they own a tablet, roughly on par with ownership rates reported in March 2013 (40 percent), according to CEA’s “Consumer Outlook on Tablets: Q3 2013” report, which examines trend information on consumer behavior and sentiment from April through June 2013.
San Francisco – Google unveiled a next-generation Nexus 7 7-inch tablet that boosts CPU and GPU speeds, screen resolution and RAM while reducing weight and depth.
The company also unveiled a $35 2-inch Chromecast dongle that plugs into a TV’s HDMI port and, for video- and music-streaming apps running on Android and iOS devices, pulls the services’ content directly from the web to the TV via Wi-Fi to preserve the mobile device battery life. The dongle and streaming services are controlled directly from the mobile device.
West Covina, Calif. — E Fun expects to grow its tablet sales despite intensified competition and declining margins that have driven other value-priced suppliers out of the market, E Fun sales VP Jason Liszewski told TWICE.