Authors: Bryce Whitty
The computer market is constantly changing and one of the big changes in recent times was the introduction of cheap netbooks like the Asus EEEPC. Now we are seeing the mass adoption of tablets like the Apple iPad and in both cases, some computer technicians have expressed fear that this will reduce the amount of desktops and laptops we have to repair.
It is quite possible that they will change the computer repair scene but I don’t see it as a problem, I see it as an opportunity. Most industries are constantly evolving and the repair work we do needs to be slightly altered to keep up.
In this article, I’ll show you three ways to take advantage of mass adoption of tablets.
Setup & Syncronization
We all know that tablets can be used for watching movies and playing some games, but the real power comes from when they are hooked up to other devices and services. It could be connected to the internet so clients can download their emails, stay current with the news, watch their stocks and know what the weather is going to be today.
You would think that if a client was this well connected that they would probably know how to set all of this up themselves, but with the simplicity of the Apple iPad, there is a huge generation of people entering the digital realm that previously wouldnt go anywhere near it. As intuitive as these modern devices are, they still need someone to enter their POP and SMTP settings, they still need to hook it up to their wireless (if they have one at all) and still need to setup an account with the App store.
A good example of this is one of my clients who has an iMac, iPhone, iPad and she would be an intermediate user who knows how to use most of the functions. When I was called out there was a few problems she wanted me to look at but one of them was that she wanted her emails to appear on all three devices because with the current setup, if the iMac opened it first it would not appear on the other two devices.
All I had to do was turn on the “leave a copy on server for X days” option in her iMacs email application. It is simple work for you and I, but there are so many people who dont know there is even an option like this. Apple claims that the devices “just work” and stand alone they are pretty good, but they dont always play nice with other software which means there is plenty of work in this area.
As intuitive as tablet operating systems are, plenty of people still dont know how to use the device. They are well aware of what it is capable of thanks to the commercials but have no idea how to actually do it. In my personal experience with iPad clients, most people wanted to be able to check their email, check the weather and maybe play some music.
I would show them how to download an application if their device needed it to use those features (after setting up their app store accounts), showed them that there is now an icon on the home screen, press this and then that. I billed many hours this way and the clients loved me for it because their children and grandchildren would either go through it all too quickly for them to learn or get frustrated trying to teach them.
Last but not least, tablets are portable and they will get damaged so there is an opportunity in repairing them. There are many resources out there to learn how to repair tablets but one of the best I have found is the iFixit.com tablet section. They have instructions for repairing Apple iPads, Nooks, Dell Tablets, HP Tablets, Motorola Tablets, RIM Tablets, Amazon Kindle Fires and the original Amazon Kindle. They do have a parts link on the right hand side where you purchase parts, but eBay has far better prices.
Of course, you shouldn’t learn the basics on your clients expensive devices. Instead, buy some broken devices and spare parts on eBay for dirt cheap, fix them and learn along the way. You can even sell the fixed device afterwards and make money from your education.
I don’t see the mass adoption of tablets as a threat to our industry, just an opportunity. They dont replace Desktops and Laptops, but work along side them and actually pulls people further into our world with a heavier reliance on technology.
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