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Tablets have no future – Panel of journalists

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From left, Martin Koelling, Stewart Wolpin, Lino Garbellini and Eric Lee

Tablets as compared to laptops have no future unless producers think outside the box and develop ‘killer hardware’, panelists at the ongoing 6th IFA Global Press Conference 2012 have said.

The four technology journalists, Martin Koelling of the Technology Review, Japan, Stewart Wolpin who writes for NBC Universal and Twice all in the US, Lino Garbellini, PC Magazine, Italy and Eric Lee of Digital Home, Taiwan, were unanimous in their observations.

The panelists argued that tablets have very little use except for use as status symbol.

“People see tablets as want and not as need,” said Stewart Wolpin.

The host of the discussion, Dave Graveline, host of ‘In Tomorrow’ asked if manufacturers would have to make tablets larger than they are now to stay in business, indicating that it is likely tablets might get bigger.

The panelists agreed that making tablets smaller makes them less appealing as it becomes more difficult to browse the Internet using smaller size tablets.

According to Wolpin, Apple is the only tablet maker that is successful because Apple tells its customers why they need the iPad. He also said Apple owns the entire value chain of its products from hardware to software and so has been able to lock-in its customers.

Asked what is the best killer application, Eric Lee said, in his view so far the best ‘killer’ application ever is the Microsoft Office, because “with Microsoft Office, you could do a lot of useful work including editing.” He however added that perhaps the most useful applications ever are the mHealth products.

About 300 technology journalists from 53 countries are represented at the event in the historical city of Dubrovnik in southern Croatia.

The press conference precedes the biggest global consumer electronics and home appliances exhibition set for August 31 to September 5, 2012 in Berlin, Germany.

The press conference ends Saturday April 14, 2012.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, in Dubrovnik, Croatia

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