There is no doubt that Apple dominates the tablet market with its iPad. There is hardly any industry or region where Apple’s supremacy is under question. Despite facing stiff competition from companies like Samsung and Nokia, Apple continues to stay at the top. However, the latest in the line of rivals could be one the tech giant wasn’t expecting: News Corp. That’s right the media conglomerate is trying to make inroads into the tablet market through its Amplify Tablet.
News Corp. is well-known over the world for the news channels, sports channels and newspapers among other entities they operate. This time around, they have developed a 10-inch tablet which is being touted to be geared towards teaching and learning. The corporation is describing it as a tablet made especially for schools. Running on Google’s Android OS, the tablet comes with a number of features making it ideal for using in the classroom.
The company is trying to tout it as more than just another tablet on the market. They are placing it as a solution to help children learn better. This is why the tablet has been pre-loaded with a number of software, tools and other content which would enable learning and teaching. The tablet is moderately priced at $299. However, you would have to get a two-year data plan for $99 a year if you buy the tablet at the standard price.
There is an enhanced version of the tablet as well, known as Amplify Tablet Plus. The price is steeper, listed at $349 and it offers 4G connectivity as compared to the 3G connectivity on the standard version. The data plan for the Amplify Tablet Plus is also more expensive, costing $179 a year. There are a number of additional features and tools to make the enhanced version different from the standard one. It carries all the features you can find in the Amplify Tablet.
Education has become an important niche to target for tablet makers. Every year, billions of dollars are spent on upgrading the schools to ensure the provision of a higher standard of education. Using technology for teaching and learning could be a positive step in this regard. Hence, News Corp. can realistically expect several schools to adopt the Amplify Tablet. However, that would make it look as if the corporation is just interested in the education dollars!
Whatever their intent may be, they need to be able to compete with Apple. Even though education is a small niche, Apple dominates here as well. Research has shown that students who use the iPad to get help with their school work perform better than those who don’t. It shows how helpful Apple is to students even though they are not their target audience. News Corp. would have to convince their target audience that the Amplify Tablet can make a real difference to teaching and learning.
Otherwise, it will end up as just another device on the shelf. It remains to be seen whether other companies take the cue from News Corp. and come up with a tablet for a specific niche.
[Image via techcrunch]