Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are the latest inclusion in information technology used in classroom teaching. These are presentation devices attached with a computer for classroom teaching. The interface helps in displaying the content of the computer on through a projector. Multiple users connected to the computer can use it and therefore any note or class work can directly be printed or saved.
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IWBs are the latest technology inclusion in the pedagogy of schools and provide a platform for technology based interactive session with the students. This medium has gained a lot of popularity among educators as it makes sharing idea with a large or small group of students an easier task. This paper takes a detailed look at the market and the target customer profile for the IWB industry.
Whiteboards has a market of £71 million in 2009 that slightly declined in 2010 to £63 million in the UK. According to reports, the sales for 2010 for whiteboards were 49000 units, which showed a decline from 55000 units in 2009 in the UK . In the UK, 60 percent of the classrooms have adopted IWBs, while adoption rate in the US is just 12 percent.
Though it is believed that the demand for IWBs is much less in the US as the expenditure on education is decided by local governments rather than in countries like the UK where it is centrally decided. However, it is believed that the technology holds a lot of opportunity in the US .
In 2008, 600,000 units of IWBs were sold worldwide and the global market for the product reached $1 billion of revenue . In 2009, IWBs were sold in 66 countries.
The market leader in the IWBs market is Smart Technologies controlling 53.2 percent of the global market for IWBs . The market share of Smart Technologies in the US market is 60.1 percent in 2009 that was up by 3 percent from 2008 figures. It had a share of 13.2 percent in Asia Pacific and 62.3 percent in the UK in 2009 .
The company’s total sales revenue in 2010 was $623 million . The other company that is the second largest producer of IWBs is Promethean .
The life cycle of IWBs is estimated to be 7 to 10 years and the marketers are hoping to see a strong replacement market in future . 40 million students use iWBs globally and in 1.6 million K-12 classrooms.
Therefore, the target market for the product is mainly the educators. As the product’s main market are educational institutes, the marketing of the product must be done to the independent boards of the institute if they are privately run, or to the government education body that undertake expense decisions regarding inclusion of new technology in institutions.
The critical requirement of the market is technology development. As IWBs are technologies, prices of technologies worldwide are continuously falling, and the customers expect more and more features from a product.
Therefore, companies are trying to improve on a basic IWB by introducing libraries of pre-developed lessons, or grouping for subjects or standards, and even state wise standard requirements . Therefore, the key to success is continuous improvement of the product and making it more attractive. Further, the company is continually collaborating with the teachers to make the product more interactive and interesting.
AV Interactive. “Smart secures half global market share.” 2009. AV Interactive. Web.
Davis, Michelle R. “Whiteboards Inc.” 2007. Education Week Digital Directions. Web.
EFYTimes.com. “SMART Leads Global Interactive Whiteboard Market: Report.” 2009. EFYTimes. Web.
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