Imagine walking into Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint, and simply walking up to the counter and asking for a free iPad or a free Android smartphone.
Or imagine the day, which I believe whole heartedly is coming sooner rather than later, when you go to Amazon.com and request one of those free Kindle devices.
I predict that within 5 years, devices like the iPad, iPhone, Android smartphones, and the Kindle, and a whole army of other devices that have yet to invented, are going to be offered 100% free of charge and 100% subsidized by advertising.
Look at the new “ad supported Kindle” that is currently in prototype. It is expected to launch next month (May) for 25% less than the current ad free Kindle.
That means you’ll be able to purchase the new ad supported Kindle for only $114, as opposed to the $139 ad free device.
But this is just the initial launch of the ad supported device.
What is Amazon finds that a whole army of new customers are coming to Amazon.com and a whole new source of revenue is being facilitated?
Wouldn’t it make sense then to just open up the flood gates to the Kindle and just offer it for free?
And if it’s working for the Kindle, why wouldn’t the same business model work for Apple (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), and Google (Android smartphones, Android tablets)?
My prediction… within 5 years we’ll have free devices on the market that are 100% subsidized by ads.
Mark your calendars!
In my view, this also opens up a whole new realm of market possibilities.
Just think of the demand for advertiser relationships and sales, the gadgets and devices themselves, and the number of consumers that are holding these gadgets.
With the ease of data access – currently 3G and 4G connectivity and WiFi – these devices could deliver a constant stream of deals to people who are out and about shopping around their towns.
And if you are the device manufacturer, or the online ecommerce site that is delivering these ads, forget about just breaking even.
What would local advertisers be willing to pay if they knew they could be displaying their ads to customers who are currently around town shopping? It would be a pretty big premium, in my opinion.