Knowledge@Wharton makes a very interesting observation about the future of technology: “In recent weeks,, Microsoft, and Apple have all held splashy events to tout their newest tablets — the Kindle Fire HD, the Surface, and the iPad Mini. But even as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talked up the specs of the new Kindle Fire, he noted that the market is becoming less about the gadgets themselves, and more about how companies can make money off additional services and purchases that appeal to device users. Technology companies now see the buying of a tablet as merely the beginning of a long relationship with a consumer — a relationship that will extend across multiple platforms and content types, with users periodically paying subscription fees or purchasing individual applications, music, movies ,and television shows. And if the firm is assured of a future payoff, it can offset the losses from charging less for the device.”

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