November 21, 2007

Appliances - The Emerging Market

People have for long got used to the concept of an 'appliance'. From the days when television was invented, mankind has been used to using appliances in one way or another. The very idea of being able to hold and feel a gadget is a satisfying experience.

The Atari video game, the video player and recorder, the cellphone, the walkie talkie, the iPod and iPhone are some of the very famous appliances that mankind has enjoyed. But I'd like to draw your attention to a very key point here - Most the appliances mentioned above took fancy in integrating more than one disparate functionalities into one. For example, the cellphone became an appliance that started to bring in a camera, video game, calculator, etc into one single gadget. So has been the way the market grew.

But today, we have started to see a 'U' turn in the way appliances are made - Companies have started to look at a way wherein some plausibly independent applications in gadgets can be used to address its niche market.

The Kindle kindles the fire! Yes, I'm talking about Amazon's latest product 'Kindle', an appliance that is in the size of a handbook, and can be carried anywhere to read books, newspapers and articles. Some years back, Amazon diverted people to online book reading. Today, Amazon is trying to separate the computer and the book reading application with this new device.

Again, such disruptive ideas and technologies create newer markets, and there will be several others jumping into this new market and flood it with their competitive applications and products till it one day dies out.

The product space has always been an interesting area to observe. I'm sure we'll have many other companies starting to make applications like bookmarks, sticky notes, messengers, etc for Kindle.

There is another place where the concept of an 'appliance' is now stepping in. More on this in my next post...

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