Connected Devices’ Summer Surge

It has been an exciting summer in the connected-device world, and there is no doubt it will intensify as we near the 2010 holiday season. Just this month, we’ve seen hints of tantalizing tablets, new technology, location-based apps, hybrid devices, and promising patents. And just this week, a new ereader is off to a roaring start and one of America’s foremost retailers is rolling out a major overhaul of its consumer-electronics division.

A discussion of connected devices rarely omits Amazon’s,, Kindle—the top-selling ereader considered by many to have ignited the country’s fervor for paperless reading and seamless, behind-the-scenes connectivity. This week, Amazon is back in the headlines by releasing the next generation of its ereading device, the Kindle 3.

Amazon says the new Kindle is 21% smaller than its predecessors with the same 6-inch reading area. The device is also 15% lighter, turns pages 20% faster, has more contrast, more battery life, and holds twice as many ebooks. The Wi-Fi version sells for $139, and the 3G version sells for $189.

The company says the new Kindle is its fastest selling ever, having sold more devices in the first weeks of availability than any other Kindle launch in the same timeframe. Though originally scheduled to begin shipping to customers today, Amazon began shipping two days early on Wednesday.

With all of this activity, it’s no wonder major retailers like Minneapolis-based Target,, is sitting up and taking notice. Earlier this week, Target announced the launch of multiple services dedicated to grow and enhance its consumer-electronics business.

First, to improve the shopping experience for electronics customers the company will offer 1-877-myTGTtech, a free support hotline for technical support and pre-purchase questions. The company says this hotline will assist consumers with questions about their electronic devices.

Target Mobile, the second strategy, will simplify the cell-phone buying experience. In-store wireless shopping stations will allow guests to buy mobile phones and self-activate. An online Target Mobile component will provide an equally accessible solution for buying and activating phones without stepping foot in a brick-and-mortar store.

Target’s new strategy suggests the corporation sees vast potential in the technology and connected-device market, and they are not alone.

Connected World reported the total number of connected devices is expected to surpass 5 billion this month, according to industry analyst firm IMS Research,, and growth is not expected to slow in the near future, potentially reaching more than 20 billion within the decade.

Summer may be winding down, but this market is just winding up.

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