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News Technology

The Apple Tablet: What Might it Mean for Fashion?

Friday, Nov 12, 2010, 12:52 PM



Over the past few weeks the Internet has been awash with excited speculations regarding the Apple Tablet and just what exactly it, and its release, will mean for media industries such as publishing and television. As we’ve seen through the mammoth success of both the iPod and iPhone, Apple has long since established itself as a company that can effectively exploit old content in new and functional ways. While the imminent release of the iSlate, iPad or iTablet (I will henceforth refer to it as iBlah) will no doubt have huge ramifications for all media industries, what we’re interested in specifically is what it will mean for the world of fashion and exactly how the industry could potentially integrate this product into their day-to-day marketing strategies.

So let’s take a look at what we already ‘know’ (though of course we know nothing)…

According to the rumours the iBlah is a multi-user device, a product that you might share with your family or loved one, it lets you read your emails, the news and presumably magazines, novels and textbooks. It apparently recognizes you via an inbuilt camera and allows you to watch your favourite TV shows on it’s perhaps 5 to 10 inch screen. It will possibly feature a virtual keyboard and you might be able to play games on it, as well as probably listen to music and download apps. In effect then, the iBlah is not so much a reader, but rather an all knowing, all doing interactive media device (maybe). Furthermore, Apple could be planning to populate various websites with a ‘buy’ button, websites that you would of course be able to access through your iBlah.

Arguably, one of the things that Apple does best is create channels through which consumers can both access and buy products and files with ease; the iBlah will no doubt build on this. It could potentially create new and interesting advertising opportunities and platforms for all industries, including the fashion industry. Designers are already creating moving campaigns, campaigns created for the screen rather than print, for example Prada’s stunning First Spring.

What the iBlah could do though is not only make these campaigns portable but also tactile. There’s always been something incredibly alluring about touch-screen displays and the iBlah has the potential to revolutionise the way we navigate through and around different forms of media. For example you could be watching Prada’s First Spring whilst reading an article on Business of Fashion as your InStyle app downloads to tell you what you should be wearing tomorrow. Imagine if you will the cover flow view of your iPod, now imagine that as the main navigation system of your iBlah; a fluid, beautiful and all encompassing, scrollable menu creating a sensation not unlike browsing through clothes at your favourite store. All of this of course culminates in the fact that it could possibly (and probably will) change how we shop online, making it even easier for us to be tempted into making those impulsive purchases. If amazon has taught us anything, it’s that the fewer steps the payment process has, the more likely we are to click that ‘buy’ button. This of course is great news for online stores such as ASOS.com and Net-a-porter.com and essentially, your iBlah could (and we hope does) become a fashion emporium; not only of products but also a source of unrestricted and unlimited information…

And so we wait with bated breath for Steve Jobs to take the stage in a mere six days: to reveal to us what we may or may not be ready for, to dazzle us with a device that will perhaps bridge the gap between the old and the new in a meaningful and usable way, and to finally quiet the endless stream of tech-geek gossip… The pressure, Steve, is well and truly on.

Read more about the Apple Tablet at Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch and MacRumors.com.

Sophie von Oswald | TribaSpace

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Sophie von Oswald | TribaSpace

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