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TABLETS 3% 9% 1% % 9% E

TABLETS 3% 9% 1% % 9% E STATE OF PLAY

TABLET PROTECTIVE CASES STATE OF PLAY With each generation of compact tablets getting slimmer year-by-year, third party protective cases keep evolving to fit them. Leather, plastic, hard or soft? What kind of tablet case is going to sell the best in my store? As the market for tablet protective cases continues to blossom, we offer you some ideas as to how to choose between the myriad of possibilities. MARKET bn in 2015? It was estimated by investorplace.com a little over a year ago that the market for Apple protective cases alone would reach US-6 bn by 2015. This leads to an easy extrapolation that given market volume, a value of over US bn is not unreasonable to assume for the global market for tablet protective cases. To estimate market potential, it suffices to link the sales of protective covers to the number of devices being sold, and then take into account the fact that many people buy more than one cover for each device. Two major risks are faced by manufacturers of tablet cases. Because around half of those people buying a tablet also buy a case at the time of device purchase, there’s a tremendous rush to be the first in stores when a new big brand device is released. This, in turn, can lead manufacturers to turn to the risky strategy of basing a new case on an earlystage prototype device that may or may not be legitimate. The other challenge is the short sales cycle. While selling an accessory like a computer mouse is relatively low risk because chances are it will remain compatible through multiple generations of computers, tablet devices are renewed rapidly enough that the sales-opportunity window is limited — often only a year before being replaced as a featured product. Changing form factors and even minor changes in button placement often render a previousgeneration case useless on new versions of tablet devices. While this works to the advantage of case manufacturers in the sense that new devices mean another round of buying new cases, it also means that product development costs must be recuperated quickly, and educated guesses must be made to avoid being stuck with overstock of cases specific to a device no longer being sold. THE FUTURE There will be an increasing trend towards more functional cases – with added features – and those that are semi-universal, being able to fit a number of different models and even brands. This will become increasingly evident as lesser-known tablet brands become increasingly popular due to low price points and higher performance. KEY SELLING POINTS TECHNOLOGY Bluetooth Keyboard By adding a Bluetooth keyboard as part of the protective cover, or indeed as the cover, this gives a strong value-add and is an increasingly popular solution. Versatility Focus on innovation in case technology in order to provide people not only with a great protective case but also with a solution for specific needs. For instance, ultra-resistant materials and multi-angle positioning for the tablet allows for an improved user experience while working, writing or watching videos. Materials The use of high tech materials in cases can give incredible results in terms, for example, of thinness: down to just 0.60 mm in some cases. Less bulk and less weight are thus major selling points. FEATURES Semi-Universal – It can be useful to have a semi-universal model that is able to cover the demand of protection for all those who don’t find accessories for their tablets. Folio functionality Some manufacturers are introducing folio functionality to their protective cases, meaning storage for papers, cards and other knick-knacks. This is useful for business people and students and is a nice way to add value. Weather and world proofing Cases that offer crushproof, dustproof and watertight protection for tablets are becoming increasingly popular. INNOVATING @ IFA T’NB UNIVERSAL FOLIO T’nB’s UNIV folio case for 10- inch tablets offers maximum flexibility with its reversible design. In addition, the cover features a removable magnetic section allowing the user to ‘hang’ the tablet from magnetic surfaces such as fridge doors. The interior clip system is compatible with iPads, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Note, Acer Iconia, Motorola, Asus Eee Pad and Google Nexus tablets. » HALL 3.2 / STAND 210 DESIGN Right fit with port and button compatibility A generic sleeve will of course not have cutaways or flaps to let the user access their tablet's connections and controls when it's protected. Having to pull one’s tablet from its case to use it to the full defeats the purpose of having a case in the first place. Focus on trends and fashion Some case collections reflect the colours and material trends of the different seasons, while others offer cartoon or designer identity. Be careful that this is in keeping with the region where the cases are being sold. The Tablet Clutch – The tablet case can become a true fashion accessory when it comes in the form of a clutch bag - perfect to take along on formal evening engagements. Styles include funky textile designs and imitation crocodile, making these items as eye-catching as they are practical. Look for interior and exterior pockets with zips. ARTWIZZ SMARTJACKET AND SEEJACKET FOLIO ARTWIZZ GMBH EXPANDS ITS COLLECTION OF TABLET CASES WITH SMARTJACKET AND SEEJACKET FOLIO FOR IPAD AIR. The SmartJacket’s lightweight protective clip and front cover protect the iPad Air and its display. The front cover has a brushed metal finish and can be folded into different positions for handsfree enjoyment, while the SeeJacket Folio features a book-style design, integrated holding clips and a magnetic closure. The integrated stand function can be used to comfortably look at pictures, watch movies or read on the iPad Air. » HALL 15.1 STAND 184 » HALL 25 / STAND 135 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Friday 19 th September 2014 37

IFA International