Tablets are a massive growth market, but they are not replacing laptops or desktops, and that is not expected to change. Apple has the lion's share of the market, followed by Android, and many vendors are spending huge amounts on advertising.
The biggest opportunity is to sell tablets to businesses for resale to their employees. Many businesses have realised they are not going to be able to avoid consumerisation, electing instead get in first, so they have some control.
Many large businesses, including Microsoft, are starting to give tablets to their employees, while others are looking at salary sacrifice schemes.
By pre-empting the employee in providing a tablet, the business can reduce the eventual IT administration costs and specify the types of applications employees can run.
If you are selling to existing tablet owners, covers and cases should be your first port of call. Apple has much of the covers market sewn up, but there is still plenty for resellers.
Tablets are useful for browsing and reading, but their on-screen keyboards are barely adequate at best. Hardware and software upgrades and add-ons can turn consumer tablets into better business tools.
There are any number of keyboards and keyboard covers available for the iPad and Android market, from simple low-cost Bluetooth keyboards to combined keyboards and covers.
Connectivity is another potential lucrative niche. Sales of wireless devices can be complemented with monthly or yearly mobile contracts. While most can hold off browsing until they get to a Wi-Fi zone, they would also like to send and receive emails wherever they are.
One of the most popular uses for tablets – particular smaller ones – is as a GPS device. In-car chargers and tablet holders, designed to allow users to see and use their tablet devices while driving, can make useful add-ons.
And then there are the apps: not everything is available via the vendor app stores. Security is an ongoing issue.
Marcus Austin is a technical author at Firebrand Training
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