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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

First to market or first to create an ecosystem?

It was always said, be first to market and you carry an advantage over your competitors.  This is why we'd always see companies looking to innovate as the common belief was that if you were first, you had the greatest chance gain market share.

This is certainly a philosophy that companies like Intel follow, which is where Moore's Law (which said you should double the number of transistors on a processor chip within every two years) originated.  This obsession to be first to market at times has meant that someone has gained total market share overnight.  However, it has also meant that we've some absolutely horrible products which have been released or that products were released that weren't quite fully though through as there wasn't much use for them yet.

Being in an integrated, connected world as we are in today, it has become more about the ecosystem that exists around the product than the actual product itself.  The classic case is smartphones.  The fact that RIM has built a closed ecosystem (which was only strengthened by having their killer App - BlackBerry Messenger), has meant that unless you're able to penetrate RIM's ecosystem, as a rival smartphone manufacturer, you aren't able to grab market share.

Image courtesy: thetelecomblog.com

The same goes with Apple.  Apple weren't the first to market a smartphone or a tablet.  What Apple did do was be the first to create a fully integrated ecosystem that revolved around iTunes and its content distribution system.  Once you're a part of the ecosystem, there isn't much room to move around.  Ask an Apple iPhone user to move to an Android device and often times they stumble, just because they don't want to exit the Apple ecosystem.  This is also precisely why the hordes of tablets from unknown brands that are being marketed today have failed.

Sony also did the same in the television business when they re-emerged with LCD TV's.  Sony was in fact a late entrant into LCD TV's and never really figured in the plasma TV business.  Sony's main business was still CRT and projection TV's when most of the industry had already started investing in newer and better technologies.  Sharp was the global leader in LCD TV's, with Samsung, LG and Philips also in the race.  With the launch of Sony's Bravia, things changed over-night and Sony was well ahead.  Bravia wasn't just a brand name, but Bravia became a part of everything Sony did.  Everything connected to or was linked with Bravia.  Concepts such as high definition or HD capture and output became synonymous with Sony.  The same is the case now with 3D, though the success of this hasn't been quite what we expected just yet.  By creating the Bravia ecosystem, Sony had essentially transformed a category of products and made it its own.  The main downfall for Sony came from the fact that they had supply restrictions and the fact that the likes of Samsung had invested much more aggressively in manufacturing facilities meant they eventually lost their number one spot to Samsung.  While Sony's ecosystem helped it become number one, it wasn't a unique ecosystem and very quickly Sony's competitors learned they be a part of the ecosystem.

A blast from the past, the Sega Saturn.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Another example where Sony got the ecosystem versus having the product first to market was when they launched the original Sony PlayStation.  This was back in the mid 1990's, when the gaming console market was largely dominated by Nintendo and Sega.  Sega was in the midst of launching their Sega Saturn console in 1995, months before Sony could get their first PlayStation out for sale.  Sega, being an incumbent, should've had the upper-hand but failed in that they launched at a higher price than Sony but apart from that, they didn't have as many games ready at launch time, which immediately diluted the impact the Sega Saturn could have.  Sony for their part launched the PlayStation with a plethora of games and ensured their ecosystem was robust, despite being a late entrant.

Today the gaming industry works on this ecosystem and this is why Sony, having realized they fell slightly behind the curve, is investing in Android gaming devices like the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and is rumoured to be developing an Android-based tablet for gaming.  Sony is not restricting this gaming experience to just tablets and smartphones, but the successor to the PlayStation Portable (PSP) for now called NGP, will also be running on Android.

Amazon's Kindle is yet another example of how the ecosystem matters.  Amazon weren't the first ones to launch an e-book reader, but what they did do was integrate it with their content library better than anyone else did and just to ensure they've created enough stickiness for themselves, they've gone one step further and made sure that tablets like Apple's iPad are also compatible with their ecosystem.

All too often though, brands get lost in specifications and lose sight of the bigger picture.  There was a time when most manufacturers of DVD players and televisions were fighting to ensure they could guarantee the highest quality playback when little did they realize, most consumers weren't watch such high quality content but were rather watching MPEG or AVI files that they downloaded from the Internet.  Immediately, most manufacturers started bringing out TV's or DVD players that could playback DivX files either of a CD, DVD or USB drive.  This took a big mind shift for top manufacturers as the thinking was initially that if you make your products incompatible with pirated content, fewer consumers will buy pirated content.  It ended up being the other way around, fewer people bought their televisions or DVD's from the brands that were trying to stop pirated content from being viewed.  Today, you'll find nearly all the top brand names have products that can playback pirated content, else they risked further market share.

Having the best specs on a smartphone or tablet means little if you can't download any Apps for it.  Having the sound output from an MP3 player means little if you download your content onto it.  Having the best quality 3D playback means little if there is no 3D content or broadcasting in your region.

The ecosystem needs to be there if a product is to do well.   Nokia have learned this the hard way and are now changing themselves.  This is also precisely why we see everyone looking to market the fact that their product can connect to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Flickr for example.  Without this connectivity to these ecosystems, it becomes very difficult to sell your product, no matter how good your specs are so the next time you shop, think about ecosystem you want to be a part of and if your products allow you to be a part of this.

Posted By: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics

Monday, 21 February 2011

Guitar Hero: Death of a genre or a game?

It was sad to hear recently that Activision's popular gaming franchise, Guitar Hero was laid to rest.

Despite the popularity and fame that accompanied the franchise, too much of the same thing year after year probably meant there wasn't enough innovation.  While the initial hype and excitement always remains, over a period of time, imaging your Slash from Guns N' Roses or Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits just loses its charm if your idols are all from a previous era.

Unlike the rest of the music industry which has seen revenues eaten up by piracy, the death of Guitar Hero couldn't be more different.

Music has moved on

One major change that's probably led to the games decline is probably the slow decline in rock music itself.  Any music fan who has an appreciation of rock will remember the days of when they played air guitar to the tunes of Metallica, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, U2 or The Police.  While it may be cool to play songs from those bands today, it isn't something you hear on mainstream radio anymore.

The Edge, back in U2's "The Joshua Tree" days. Image courtesy U2.com
Just watching popular music reality shows like American Idol, you can see how its progressed season by season.  The initial years where you had rockers like Bo Bice or Chris Daughtry are gone.  They were themselves unique in the fact that there were very few people who actually sounded anything like them in the years they participated.  The closest American Idol went towards rock in recent years was probably Adam Lambert, though his style and personal being as eccentric as they are borders on the edge of rock; it's more a case of Lady Gaga meets Queen.  These days, American Idol has moved into a hip-hop, R&B groove, which is reflective of music today (music, which I'm also a fan also).

The lack of new idols or heros in the world of rock probably made it more difficult for a franchise like Guitar Hero to evolve.  Compare this with a sports game franchise holder and he can move between generations using the likes of Pele, Maradona, Cantona, Zidane and Christiano Ronaldo for example.

Who's that musician in your band?

One more trend that's probably changed things is that no one really knows anyone in a band unless they're a singer.  Who remembers musicians these days?  Names like The Edge, Slash, Duff, Lars Ulrich, Keith Richards or Dave Stewart (the guy who stood next to Annie Lennox in The Eurythmics) were people we knew even they they weren't the headline star of their bands.

Today, you probably know who's in the Black Eyed Peas or in your typical boy / girl band because you see them in videos singing away but do you ever ask who's the drummer, guitarist or bassist in a band anymore?  Evidence of this can be see seen in the fact Guns N' Roses these days is a totally different band from what it was in the 1980's with the exception of Axl Rose.  Back then, every member of the band was known.  Now, when the "band" recently performed at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina, it was only Axl Rose who was known and the rest of the band was unknown (details of the band members can be seen here).  Where then can Guitar Hero expect to find it's next Hero?

Guns N' Who? Image courtesy http://worldtourdates.info

What could've been done differently

If Guitar Hero didn't want to abandon its rock roots, it could've probably seen how it adapted itself to today's variation of rock.  Whether it be Arcade Fire (who caused an upset at The Grammy's last week) or The Killers, it could've moved away from being focused around individuals within a band to actually focusing on the band in totality.  This is something Activision probably did think of and possibly it didn't quite have the same commercial opportunities which is maybe why we didn't see it happen.

Had Guitar Hero not been Guitar Hero but Music Hero (sorry, I couldn't think of a more imaginative name here), then it could've moved from  generation to generation as music genres evolved.  Just like a football game franchise manages to evolve year after year, a music franchise could've progressed from the days of Elvis Presley right to Gaga mania.  With technologies such as what we're seeing in Microsoft's Kinect emerging and with network gaming / social network environments being as active as they are, it may have taken some imagination and creative juices to find a way to keep things entertaining still.

Activision also may have suffered because it didn't move onto other gaming platforms quickly enough.  In our previous post about Angry Birds, we did ask the question if the success of an underdog like Angry Birds was due to the fact that it focused purely on the smartphone segment initially before moving its way up the console route, blindsiding most of the competition.  Most gaming software houses traditionally focused on consoles and are now seeing their share of the wallet move onto smartphones or tablets, which was a trend probably most of them didn't anticipate.  With more music being played off smartphones or MP3 players instead of CD's, this was a trend that could've been anticipated.

If you go on Apple's iTunes Appstore, you will find that one of the most popular games that's been listed on there for years now is Tap Tap Revenge, which was in 2008, the most popular game on the iPhone.  Tap Tap is much like Guitar Hero in a way and probably carved out a niche for themselves before anyone at Activision realized what was happening.  Tap Tap have also moved on where you can download new tracks into the game, meaning the content stays current.  A visit to their website also shows that they've managed to establish the tie-ups that make it matter whether it be Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Linkin Park, Nirvana, Justin Bieber, Coldplay or veterans like Metallica and Nirvana.

A screen shot from Tap Tap's webpage shows how current they've been.

Sadly though, it isn't up to us to decide the fate of Guitar Hero, they've in some way done it themselves.  They've sadly driven the nail through the coffin and made themselves a memory.

We do hope that there is a reincarnation of the franchise one day as we've seen Super Mario emerge in various forms over the years but like we did with some of our Atari games, we hope to continue playing Guitar Hero, however we can, whenever we can, wherever we can.

Posted By: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Anyone else want to support Windows Phone 7?

With this week's Mobile World Congress (MWC) about to kick off in Barcelona, we can expect to see a whole host of announcements in the mobile and tablet space from most of the industry's big-wigs but the talking point thus far has been the Nokia-Microsoft collaboration that was announced at the end of last week.

As I eluded to last week in our blog post, "Is Nokia adopting Windows Phone 7 solving the problem?" there was concern over whether Nokia would be able to differentiate itself enough by adopting Windows Phone 7 (WP7) from any other brand who decided to throw WP7 onto their devices.

However, this got me thinking further and the thought then came that, WP7, which has received a lukewarm response thus far despite being well-recieved technically, may end up in a situation where they are more or less married to Nokia exclusively, whether they meant for it to happen or not.

The Nokia- Microsoft Eco-system as shown on www.nokia.com

Considering that only a few handsets are commercially available that run on WP7 (mainly from HTC and Samsung), the point of differentiation for other brands versus the Nokia/Microsoft devices could be that most of them run on Android.

So what's the bottomline? Nothing's changed. We could end up back where we were in the Symbian days, where it was Nokia versus the rest, but this time the battle could be Nokia-WP7 versus the rest (Android, iOS, WebOS & RIM).  The only difference in adopting WP7 instead of Symbian, is that Nokia has a fighting chance now to gain market share.

Considering most hardware manufacturers have already put in heavy investments in developing their Android devices and skins, there was an unspoken discomfort that existed when it came to working with Microsoft on WP7 according to news I was getting from various manufacturers.  With Nokia going more or less exclusive with Microsoft on WP7, this could be the "Get out of Jail" card that other manufacturers were looking for to slow down if not stop development of their own WP7 devices.

If this were to happen, then Nokia could very well differentiate themselves and certainly hold their own as they would effectively have control over their eco-system once again.

Of course, this is all speculation at this stage and the feedback from MWC this week could totally go against I just said, but then again, what's the fun of being in this business if you can't speculate once in a while?

Update: As we eluded to in our post before MWC started, we weren't sure how many manufacturers would want to support Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, we've now seen a statement from Motorola that appeared in Engadget in which a company executive has said "it's not something we're entertaining now."  The executive further goes on to say they'd rather work on an open platform and not be restricted as Microsoft would make them.  Interestingly though, the Nokia-Microsoft partnership allows Nokia full access to WP7 and customize it as they wish, which is something Microsoft has been quite tight-fisted about when other brands tried to do customizations.  (16 February, 2011)

Posted By: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Is Nokia adopting Windows Phone 7 solving the problem?

Nokia has got everyone talking this morning after a memo written by their CEO, Stephen Elop, made it's way to TechCrunch, Engadget and a whole host of other websites.  In his memo, Elop has written and spoken of a "burning platform" that Nokia is on and had been quite candid in admitting that the likes of Apple have taken away their share at the top end of the market. (This story here can give more background on the memo).

He also was quite frank in admitting that since Apple launched the first iPhone in 2007, Nokia hasn't really been able to fight back with a product that came anywhere close to toppling Apple of their pedestal.  The issue isn't only hardware as he mentioned but also the operating system as Symbian or possibly even MeeGo may not be the solution.

Elop also goes on to talk about how Android has emerged from nowhere in the last two years and has recently overtaken Apple's iOS operating system in terms of market share.  This has only increased speculation that Nokia may side with Microsoft on Windows Phone 7 or with Google for Android.  With Elop being an ex-Microsoft exec, the chances are he may find Windows Phone 7 a proposition that can still work better for him and Nokia.

However, is this enough to solve the problem that Nokia is in?  I don't think so personally.

Elop has clearly said its not about hardware and operating system, but also the entire ecosystem that exists.  Taking this further then, you wonder that if Nokia decides to work Microsoft on Windows Phone 7, what part of the ecosystem does  Nokia control or manage?  How would a Nokia phone operating on Windows Phone 7 be any different to a Samsung, LG, HTC or Dell device operating on Windows Phone 7?  

Nokia looks set to re-strategize and question their business fundamentals in 2011 and with Nokia holding such a strong sentimental position in most people's hearts, we certainly hope they find a way to bounce back.

Over to you Elop....

Posted By: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics

Trying to do a little more for the environment

Jacky’s Eco Exchange now accepts your MP3 player, digital camera, notebook, digital camera and mobile phone for recycling (details can be seen here and FAQ's here).
Based on feedback we’d been receiving from our customers in the last few months after we started our Eco Exchange program, where we started recycling mobile phones, we’re proud to say that we’ve extended this program wherein we’ve extended the number of product categories that we can accept for recycling.

As part of our commitment to educate to be a more responsible of our community, we had always been looking at how do we extend this program onto other categories where the product life cycles have progressively gotten shorter.
We realized that MP3 players, digital cameras, notebook computers and digital cameras keep getting replaced more often as technologies started evolving more rapidly.  In most cases, the older products that are replaced often get left behind in a drawer and forgotten.  Siting there, they gather dust and often times get disposed off in the trash with everything else in the house.
Disposing of devices like this means there are components that can be re-used or recycled end up in a landfill instead of being utilized again. 
In the process of finding someone who could take back these products from us, we also wanted to ensure we found a partner who works with a zero-landfill policy as not everyone recycling partner can guarantee this.  We did eventually find a partner who is willing to support this and accordingly we’ve extended this program.
Of course, another advantage of the Jacky’s Eco Exchange program is that you also get store credit back which can be used against the purchase of any product from Jacky’s.  While this store credit is definitely a motivation to recycle or trade-in your product, we felt the main motivation for most customers is not the money but in knowing that they’re doing the right thing.
While this is a start, it is no means the end.  We want to continue educating ourselves and our community on the benefits of recycling.  We’re always looking for ways to extend this program and we remain committed to finding additional product categories in the future that can also be a part of the Jacky’s Eco Exchange program which will be disposed off responsibly.  
We do hope you will help us in spreading the word about the fact that there is a recycling option now available.  If you or a loved one is buying a new device, please remember to ask the question about what your doing with the older product, which if not being utilized, can be recycled.  The more awareness we can create together, the better we can look after our environment.  Let’s make it a habit together!

Posted By: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Angry Birds: How the underdog is succeeding

It's always good to see an underdog succeed.  It's human nature to see someone persevere, go against the grain and come out on top.

This has been exactly the case with Angry Birds, the game that has quite literally taken the world by storm.

After first being introduced in December 2009 as an App to download on the iPhone, it quickly grew and has now moved off the iPhone, onto many other smartphone platforms including Google's Android.  What though has been the landmark moment in my opinion has been the shift from smartphone gaming onto console gaming for Angry Birds (more history of Angry Birds can be seen here).

With the announcement that Angry Birds will be available on various platforms like the PSP, PS3, Wii and the upcoming Nintendo 3DS, it's shown just how far the developer, Rovio, a Finnish company, has gone in a little over 15 months (This news can be seen here).

In an era where the landscape of gaming has changed with the emergence of smartphones, we've seen several trends develop that make it that much more significant.

Firstly, the console or PC market is not the only route to gaming success.  With smartphones and tablets, there is a whole new segment of people who've now started gaming that you probably wouldn't have seen earlier.  Earlier, it was considered that most people playing on a smartphone or tablet were "casual" gamers and the hardcore gaming fans stuck to consoles and PC's.  With Sony's recent announcement of the PlayStation Suite, we're now seeing an integration of portable, console, smartphone and tablet gaming as you could possibly start playing a game on your PSP (or NGP), move it onto your PS3 and then move it back onto your Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (some details from Sony for the PlayStation Suite can be seen here).

This should've been good news for everyone involved in gaming but they aren't quite as happy as the whole model of games distribution has changed as well.  With smartphone and tablet gaming, it's more a case of downloading an App instead of buying a cartridge or CD for your game.  With the price of Apps being just a couple of dollars, if not free, it means average revenues per game sold have dropped.  With Apple also opening the Mac App Store recently, this has meant even those with a Macbook start downloading games.  A lot of people who were a part of the food chain here are being overlooked (yes, including retailers like us), but this has only meant more people are gaming.  For the gaming industry to grow though, they need a bottomline that supports them.  This can only come if they make up for the loss of CD or cartridge sales from App sales (where the average selling prices are much lower, but volumes could be significantly higher).

Coming back to Angry Birds.  They've now seen over 50,000,000 downloads since the game was first launched.  The game has come in several different flavours and varieties with special versions launched during festive periods or indeed during Valentine's Day.  This also probably marks one of the first cases where a game has moved from a smartphone platform onto the console platforms.  This is at a time when console and PC gaming developers are actually trying to capture a piece of the pie in smartphone gaming.  Industry stalwarts like Electronics Arts (famed for their EA sports series of games) surely are looking at this market very closely and must be wondering how much of a threat smaller developers like this will be in the future.

The underlying fact is that the gaming industry is changing probably quicker and more rapidly than most could anticipate.  When established companies like Sony start developing entire gaming platforms in Android because of the fear they're going to be left behind, we know it's come down to a case to change or be an afterthought in the industry.

At the end of the day though, we all like to see the underdog succeed and who knows, somewhere along the way, we could see the next Facebook or Google emerge.

 Posted By: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Top 5 TV's so far this DSF

With the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) now reaching towards its midway point, we’ve decided to look analyze which products have done well thus far in one of our most popular categories, flatscreen televisions.  With some major price drops occurring in the last few weeks, television sales have picked up and we expect the same to continue right through to the end of DSF.
With the ICC Cricket World Cup starting on 19th February, 2011 and Valentine’s Day just around the corner, now could be the time to convince your friends, family or spouse to get you that new TV you’ve been waiting for.

1. Sony 32” LCD TV (Model KLV32EX400)
This Full HD TV (1920 x 1080 resolution) has got 4 HDMI and a USB input, a Bravia Engine 3, 24P True Cinema and MPEG noise reduction.  This television used to be priced at Dhs. 1,999 and during DSF is priced at Dhs 1,799 with a Dhs 200 Jacky’s gift voucher.  A standard definition television is Dhs. 1,399 so the difference between this Full HD model and a standard definition model has dropped from Dhs 600 to just Dhs 200.

2. Samsung 40” LED TV (Model UA40C5000)
This is probably the lowest priced LED TV in the 40” segment amongst the top brands.  Price at Dhs. 3,299 with a free Samsung Blu Ray player (that’s normally selling for Dhs. 749), this Full HD LED TV is a good step up if you’ve got one of the first generation LCD or plasma TV’s.  It has got 4 HDMI and a USB input plus has Samsung’s Wide Colour Enhancer.

3. Sony 40” LED TV (Model KDL40EX710)
This LED TV from Sony has a jaw-dropping 30% price drop during DSF.  It used to be priced at Dhs 4,999 and is now selling at Dhs. 3,999 with a Dhs 500 Jacky’s Gift Voucher.  This is Sony’s entry level LED model and is a Full HD TV, with Edge LED, Bravia Engine 3, a 100Hz refresh rate (Motion Flow), video / photo / music playback through a USB input (many TV’s only allow you to view photos through a USB input) and a Bravia Internet Video (IPTV).

4. Sony 40” LCD TV (Model KLV40BX400)
Sony’s entry level LCD TV in the 40” segment has done exceptionally well for this DSF thus far, in part because of the drop in price has seen during DSF.  It used to be priced at Dhs. 2,699 before the Shopping Festival started and is now priced at Dhs. 2,399 with a Dhs 200 Jacky’s Gift Voucher.  It is also a Full HD model, with a Bravia Engine 3, USB playback for video / photo / audio and 2 HDMI inputs.

5. Samsung 40” LCD TV (Model LA40C530)
This television literally just had a price drop this morning and now costs Dhs. 2,399 with a Dhs 300 Jacky’s Gift Voucher.  It was previously priced at Dhs 2,699.  It is a Full HD TV with 3 HDMI inputs, a USB input and a PC input.  It also has Samsung’s Wide Colour Enhancer technology built in. 

One more product that has done exceptionally well but didn’t qualify in the Top 5 was the Panasonic 65” Plasma TV which was Dhs 29,999 and now selling for Dhs 10,999 plus a Blu Ray home theatre from Panasonic.  This is a whopping 63% cheaper during this DSF.
Panasonic's 65" Plasma has been one of the talking points this DSF after dropping Dhs 19,000 off it's selling price.

As you may have seen, there is often doubt whether DSF offers are genuine but with the price drops mentioned above, we hope you will be convinced that we’ve worked hard with our suppliers to bring you the best offers this DSF.  We do encourage you to visit our retail outlets to have a look at these TV’s yourself as all of the models in the Top 5 are full high definition models.  There is no old technology here and this has arguably been one of the best times to make the jump if you’ve been thinking about it for a while.
For any further queries, we can also be reached on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/jackysuae) or on Twitter (@jackysuae). 

Posted By: Deepak Kriplani, Assistant Purchase Manager & Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Should we be getting excited about tablet newspapers?

This week, Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp. empire, pioneered ahead with the launch of The Daily, the first iPad newspaper.  Murdoch is better known for his tabloid newspapers has made the transition to the tablet format at a time when many newspapers are fighting for survival.

The Daily launch event, picture from The Washington Post

With so many dynamic options like blogs, online newspapers, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, you really wonder if a somewhat static tablet newspaper is actually the way forward.  This really got me thinking personally and I remembered a quote that I'd given to some of our Sales Advisors right at the start of January as they got ready for a new year of sales from none other than Rupert Murdoch.

The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow. - Rupert Murdoch

At a time where we've seen big business try and battle it out with disruptive technologies, Murdoch has clearly recognized that he needs to move ahead of the curve.  No one probably expected the Apple iPad to be as big a phenomenon as it turned out to be, but it did.  The iPad was a disruptive technology and it altered unexpectedly the plan of many technology companies that were pitching the netbook as the next big frontier technology during a recessionary period.

Disruptive technologies like Napster (which changed the way music is now distributed), Skype (which has changed telephony) or Facebook (which has arguably been one of the biggest drivers of driving people to start accessing the Internet over a smartphone) all emerged in industries dominated by giants.

Murdoch knows that he's the biggest giant in his industry and before an unknown entity knocks him off his pedestal, it was probably best to pre-empt it with the launch of the The Daily.  His quote clearly says its now not about size but speed.

Now it'll be a question of whether the first mover advantage works or not.  There has been a lot of debate if strategically what Murdoch is doing is correct, including this discussion that was on Dubai Eye this morning between Jessica Swann and Alexander McNabb.  In either case, we wait to see if this is the disruptive technology shift Murdoch expects it to be or whether it is a precursor to another piece of disruptive technology that comes in from an uknown entity.

All we can say right now though is, get your tablet if you can because you will surely be using it going forward.

Posted By: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics