So far everyone's attention has been on the damage that tablets are doing to the PC market, but how is the boom in mobile devices impacting stationers?
For the answer, look no further than BIC. In a bid to move with the times and to show that you don't need to be a top tech exec in a Silicon Valley office in order to innovate, the inventor of the disposable ballpoint pen is set to launch a new biro for the iPad generation.
Based on the company's iconic Cristal ballpoint pen, it features a special capacitive tip which means that it is just as adept at writing as a stylus on a tablet or smartphone screen as it is at scribbling down information in ink on a jotter.
Due to hit major retailers in the UK on Aug 12, the Bic Tech Cristal 2-in-1 Stylus Pen will be sold individually for 3.65 pounds (about RM17), in packs of three and boxes of 12. The pens are available for pre order now at Amazon.
Despite Steve Jobs' criticism of styluses, as the uses for tablets and number of apps available (particularly for the iPad) grow, so does the ecosystem of third-party add-ons and accessories supporting it.
Away from protective cases and portable keyboards, one of the most popular supporting devices has been the bamboo stylus which allows users to exploit the full sketchpad potential of tablets.
Turning the lowly ballpoint into a touch-screen optimised product makes sense, considering the way that so many people tend to subconsciously use them as extensions of their hands, whether for dialling numbers on a phone, using a calculator or repeatedly tapping a computer screen to highlight something.
What's more, although Apple continues to fight the temptation to bundle a stylus with its devices, a number of its competitors, most notably Samsung and Microsoft ship their tablets with styluses included. Bic's new pens mean that when that inevitable day comes when the stylus breaks, falls under a seat on a plane or train or is simply nowhere to be found, there's always a spare close at hand. – AFP/Relaxnews, July 31, 2013.