If there is one thing we have learned from a declining monitor PC market it is that vendors have been developing in three directions in order to save their business- higher resolutions, larger sizes, and more niche-based markets.
On the monitor side, shipments have steadily declined over the last 2-3 years as smart TVs have hit the market. Connected TVs that can access the internet gave PC users an alternative to switch away from notebooks to monitors for larger screening purposes while mobile devices largely took the place of notebook PC owners.
As this trend occurred, vendors realized they no longer had an edge if they kept releasing products with no specialized functions or enhanced experiences otherwise not found from other devices. Therefore, we saw them tackle niches such as gaming and businesses where having 4K resolution and curved screens for improved viewing experience, giving companies a reason to further buy into the latest and greatest technology. Shipments have still been down but makers have seen higher profit margins due to larger sizes and high-end unit sales.
Arguably, the same kind of approach needs to be done for the tablet industry, which is now as broad as smartphones and TVs, but instead showing declining shipments while smartphone and TV shipments are on the rise. What does this tell us? Aside from the fact that tablets seem like extra-large smartphones, we can also infer that there is not enough specialized effort from vendors to promote the products in niches that otherwise are being untapped.
Tablet vendors need to start making more efforts to create new uses for their products rather than waiting for them to be developed by other industries and then following in suit. A great possibility to achieve this is in the medical segment.
The medical segment in fact is an area most IoT developers are eyeing as the need for medical care is ongoing and budgets typically are high and steady. The medical industry still operates by a lot of “old-fashioned” means in that monitoring, paperwork and file transfers are largely done through paper copies or outdated monitor services.
Medical experts in fact hope to create smarter solutions for monitoring their patients and are proposing using smart watches or wristbands that can monitor a patients health and send signals back to a database that could be monitored by a smart device such as a tablet. A tablet could act as the main “charts” that doctors pass around rather than outdated paper copies that get stored away and filed in cabinets that could potentially be lost from a natural disaster or theft.
Many records are also stored online but up-to-date real-time monitoring is not. What if patients heart rate, blood pressure and other bodily functions be recorded and stored 24/7 and accessed through a smart device in which potentially doctors and family members alike could check? That is a smart solution that tablet vendors could push rather than the medical industry assuming the vendors will be ready at will.
It comes down to a matter of being proactive and innovative rather than passive and watching the industry decline. The problem is that even at the height of sales for a certain product vendors still need to be looking ahead and not dwelling too much on their accomplishments when the going is good, because it will falter eventually.
Medical-use tablets with specialized accessories, displays and sizes could be a huge niche for vendors if they were to veer outside the consumer market box. Most niche providers typically succeed in this regard if they propose innovative solutions that help solve issues rather than waiting for the demand to come and trying to convince customers their products are better.
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