It seems hard to believe now, but when the iPad was introduced last year, there was a lot of question about whether or not Apple had finally made a mistake — would people pay $500 or more for a tablet when all others had failed to catch on in a major way?
Well, we all know the answer to that question. The iPad has been a raging success, with some 25 million sold as of this summer. The even bigger surprise has been the use of the iPad as a business tool, even in the usually tech-averse remodeling industry.
The iPad has caught on in a way other technology has not. Digitimes Research reports that tablet shipments were up 420 percent from a year ago (when the iPad was introduced) in the first half of this year. Shipments in the second half are predicted by Digitimes to be 150 percent higher than 2010.
The numbers are still dwarfed by smart phones, of course, put there’s a huge difference in what you can accomplish with a tablet. Just try showing off your project photos on an iPhone or Droid
Obviously we think it’s a big deal. That’s why we’ve dedicated more than half of this issue to tablets. And that emphasis on “tablets” is intentional. While the iPad has a lot of the buzz and the lion’s share of the market so far (61 percent of the world tablet market by the end of the year, according to the Digitimes report), other options are out there. Just like in smart phones, the open Android operating system is rapidly gaining market share, now representing 20 percent of the tablets in use, according to a recent ABI Research report.
The market continues to change rapidly with new competitors entering and exiting the market every day. There is a lot of buzz about the rumored Amazon Android tablet coming this fall, for example. At the same time, the HP TouchPad, once heralded as a major rival to the iPad, was put out to pasture just days before this issue went to press.
With all the rapid changes, it’s more important than ever that you get a look at technology through a remodeler’s eyes and that’s why we’re going to keep covering tablets and other tech every month here in the magazine and on HousingZone.com.
The tablet revolution is a game changer for remodeling. Your fellow remodelers agree. You can read more here and here.
Jonathan Sweet is the editor in chief of Professional Remodeler, an award-winning trade publication for remodelers and home improvement contractors. He started his career covering homes and small businesses at a daily newspaper and has spent more than a decade writing for several construction trade publications including Qualified Remodeler, Construction Pro and Concrete Contractor. +Jonathan Sweet