PhonePad managing director Chris Longden

الخميس، 4 أبريل 2013

?Could the PhonePad spell the end for the tablet as we know it
To coincide with today’s (April 1st) launch of the PhonePad- a potentially game-changing product aimed at transforming your smartphone into a tablet for a fraction of the cost - Mobile Entertainment was fortunate enough to sit down with managing director of the British firm behind the PhonePad [Eicus] Chris Longden, to find out exactly what the PhonePad has to offer and where it leaves the conventional tablet.
With versions available for Samsung’s Galaxy range of smartphones, as well as for handsets from the market’s ‘other major smartphone provider’, the PhonePad allows users to simply plug their device into the unit and display its content onto its 10.1-inch, LCD, HD touchscreen, essentially rendering their phone a tablet.
It also harnesses the power to utilise all of the phone’s content and capabilities, so if you have a 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi connection, you can put this to use with your PhonePad to transform it into a tablet of equal functionality.
Furthermore, it comes with a console-style games controller, adding a new dimension to the mobile gaming experience. And all of this for a RRP of £149.99.
So, to explain the PhonePad further, we now hand over to Longden to tell us more…
?Daniel Gumble: Where does the PhonePad leave the conventional tablet
Chris Longden: “We see this as being something a little bit different; it’s not exactly the same as a tablet. It doesn’t work independently like a tablet; whatever is on the phone will come onto the screen. Essentially, we spotted a real niche in that market that up until now wasn’t being served. We’ve been asked a lot ‘why isn’t anybody else doing this?’ So, we are not trying to replace tablets - there’ll always be a market for tablets – we just want to offer the market something different.
?DG: What can the PhonePad offer that a conventional tablet can’t
CL: “One of the main benefits we see with the PhonePad when compared to other tablets is that you can run your 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi through the phone, so there’s no additional second contract. There’s also the price. We see £149.99 in this current economic climate as being a good price for the consumer. If, for example, you were to buy the equivalent tablet that runs the software that the Samsung Galaxy S3 runs, or whatever Android technology it’s running, you’d have to pay the upfront fee of around £299, or £399 if you were to go for a 3G-enabled version. Then, for your data plan, you’re paying around £25 per month for the duration of two years, so we see a one-off payment of £149.99 with no other additional payments as a being a very good price. It also comes with a games controller included.”
?DG: Which handsets is the PhonePad currently compatible with
CL: “At this moment in time, we’ve got a Samsung Galaxy S2 and S3 version, and we hope to have an S4 version soon too. We have also agreed a deal with another major smartphone provider, and the PhonePads for those will be available towards the latter end of this year.
DG: Will you be releasing versions of the PhonePad for use with any other smartphone ?providers
CL: “At this moment in time we are only planning on going with these two, as we see them representing 62 per cent of the market and we think that’s enough to run with.”
DG: How do you see the PhonePad been primarily used by consumers? Will it be viewed mostly as a gaming device, or a video watching device? Or is it simply an extension of the ?user’s phone
CL: “My view is that it ticks a lot of boxes. Some people say ‘you’re selling it with a games controller so it must be a gaming device’, well, that will certainly be true for some people. However, when I’m on the train from Manchester to London, I’ll use it to watch video content, or browse the Internet, and all the while it’s charging the battery, so my phone isn’t drained by the end of the journey. It’s really an extension of the user’s phone so it can be used for whatever they want to use it for.”
?DG: What’s stopping another firm from taking this idea and trying to replicate it
CL: “For someone to replicate this would be extremely difficult. We’ve got a number of patents in place on the product. Also, the fact that we’ve got the brand ‘PhonePad’ with a ph instead of an f, means that we should hopefully be able to capture quite a lot of the market share for this type of device before anybody else gets on our coattails, because it is what its – a phone pad. So, hopefully our brand identity and how we bring this to market will provide us with longevity, and the fact that the product has been two and a half years in the making means that you can’t just replicate over night.  Furthermore, we’ve also got future models in the pipeline, so by the time anyone catches us up, we’ll already be well on the way with our next PhonePad.
“Also, we have the MHL details with Samsung and the other main smartphone provider; their technology is very difficult to get. They don’t grant very many licenses, and we’ve been lucky enough to get one.”
DG: If someone changes their smartphone from a Samsung Galaxy device to a handset from the other ‘major smartphone provider’, or vice versa, will they be able to use their new phone with the same PhonePad?
CL: “There is no one device that can run a product from both of these companies, so one will be for Samsung devices and one will be for the other manufacturer.
?DG: Where will the PhonePad be available from
CL: “We are still in negotiation with some retailers, so we can’t name all of them just yet, but you certainly can expect to see it available in all the usual places.

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