Home' LAPTOP Magazine : October 2010 Contents We have some
ASUS is doing very
well in our stores;
Samsung is coming
into the notebook
arena for the first time
in a long time, which
is showing some
great progress. You
know Apple drives a
of demand in the
600-plus locations we carry them. More brands
are differentiating, bringing more value, and
bringing different things. Sony's very focused on
Blu-ray, while HP has a Beats initiative where they're
focusing on sound. Competition is really healthy,
and it's creating better values for the customer.
L: What are the most important
things Best Buy shoppers look for
in a notebook?
JB: Materials and form factor are at the top. Speed:
customers articulate it as performance, and when you
dig in to performance there are a couple of things that
come out; general speed and the ability to do tasks,
which are aspects we're continuously focusing on.
Battery life is critical, especially as we're starting to
get to more second-, third-, and fourth-time buyers.
The other aspects are service and reliability, which
are extremely important to customers.
L: What are the biggest trends
you're seeing right now in mobile
JB:Obviously the iPad trend is significant, and there
seems to be definite interest in tablets. There will
be more competitive products in that particular
ecosystem as the future moves on. Right now,
though I think the biggest
concern for us is making sure
there is an app ecosystem
to support those devices.
There's a lot of excitement
behind a product such as
the iPad, but if you use one,
or if you have used one, you
learn very, very quickly that
a lot of the value comes
from the content and in the
apps. And the product itself,
although very cool, is not
about hardware---its actually
about that experience.
So, as other tablets come
to market---whether they be Android-, MeeGo-, or
Windows-based---the number one priority for us
is making sure that ecosystem is there from an
"There are a lot of
tablets that don't have
the complete experience
figured out. I don't want
to bring a product to
market that isn't quite
Or I think that
experience can be
looked at as inferior
to the experience
out there today.
is one of the big
things we'll look
to as we move into
the holiday season
and beyond. I really
think you'll start to
see non-iPad devices roll out more aggressively in
the January time frame.
L: So I'm assuming your value
equation is different for tablets
than for notebooks. Are you
saying that you won't sell a tablet
that doesn't have a good app
store behind it?
JB:You hit the nail on the head on the number one
thing that's keeping me up at night. It's a very difficult
time right now, making those assortment choices,
because there are a lot of products that don't have
the complete experience figured out. I don't want
to bring a product to market that isn't quite ready
yet. Content is really a better way to describe it than
apps. The number one thing we want to focus on,
if you see something from us during the holiday,
is that we want to make sure each product has a
back-end ecosystem set up so customers will be
very elated, rather than disappointed.
L: Some analysts say that tablets
will outsell netbooks over time.
Do you agree?
JB: I could see some opportunities where that
would happen, and the biggest reason for that
is netbooks have some
things that limit their abil-
ity to really expand into
different areas. There's not
a tremendous amount of
differentiation or innovation
in that space, and that's
concerning. There are
limitations in screen size,
memory, and OS. And when
you spin all those things
together it actually creates a
category that, at least from
my perspective, is getting
a little stale. In the next
three to six months, we're
going to see the writing on the wall as to whether
the netbook category finds a way to evolve. Or if
a category like tablets takes over.
Created with consumer requests in mind, the
Toshiba Satellite E205 was among the first
Blue Label exclusives at Best Buy.
NEWS & TRENDS
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mr. caparro on his skateboard in Venice
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