Following the introduction Wednesday of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, designed to be a competitor to both Apple’s iPad and other recent tablet releases, I am announcing today that I too will be offering a handy new mobile device for sale.
The CinnaBox 5000, a cardboard-based technology powered by crunchy cinnamon multi-grain cereal, will be available just in time for the holiday gift-giving season. At $5.49, it’s priced significantly lower than the Kindle Fire, the Apple iPad or any other wireless communications equipment currently on the market.
“It’s a little bigger and a little thicker than most of the tablets out there now,” I’m saying. “But the big difference in price, and the fact that it provides 25% of a person’s minimum daily requirement for thiamin, niacin and riboflavin, will — I think — differentiate the CinnaBox from its competitors.”
“Plus,” I’m adding, “because we’re calling it the CinnaBox 5000, that automatically makes it 5,000 times better than other tablets.”
The CinnaBox announcement comes only one day after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told investors his company was releasing the new Kindle Fire. The Fire features a glossy seven-inch touch-screen with a dual-core processor that will allow users to access more than 18 million pieces of content in the Amazon catalog. It also offers a web browser, gaming capacity, 8 gigabytes of memory and a free cloud-based storage system.
By contrast, the CinnaBox 5000 offers ten ounces of artificially flavored breakfast cereal and a requirement that users employ a vivid imagination to pretend they’re accessing the digital realm instead of simply pawing at a marginally successful Kellogg’s product.
“I bought a box of the cereal about a year ago. I tried it once and it wasn’t very good,” I’m saying. “I just stuck it up on top of the refrigerator and forgot about it. Then, when I heard about the Amazon announcement yesterday, I thought ‘Huh — maybe I can market the stuff as the latest and greatest entrant into the lucrative tablet market.’ So I am.”
Despite the obvious shortcomings users might anticipate trying to read a book or surf the internet using only a cereal box, many analysts said they thought there was a niche to be filled by the CinnaBox.
“Not everyone can afford even the $199 that Amazon bragged yesterday was such a good deal,” said Scott Devitt, a tech analyst at Morgan Stanley. “At a price point under $6, the CinnaBox should be able to gain a significant market share.”
“It’s got tabs on the boxtop, much like you’d see tabs allowing you to open different websites on a browser,” I’m saying. “It’s a little disconcerting to hear loose stuff shaking inside the box, er, tablet. I just use earbuds to blot that out.”
Unlike the Fire and Apple’s iPad, the CinnaBox does not require periodic recharging of the battery. That’s because it has no battery. All its power is derived from the user’s ability to visualize bright video images dancing across the face of the box, rather than the static photo showing cereal bits inundated in milk.
“That could be a huge selling point,” said Morgan Stanley’s Devitt. “People hate recharging their batteries, whereas they love to eat Cinnabon-flavored breakfast grains.”
The CinnaBox promises to be just the first release of this new push to re-market simple consumer products as high-tech electronics. In early 2012, many are predicting introduction of the CinnaPhone, which will use much of the wheat- and corn-based technology seen in the CinnaBox.
“I can envision the day when you simply go to the nearest Cinnabon, buy yourself a sticky roll, and you can hold it up to your ear and start talking and texting with your friends,” Devitt said. “Just be sure to wipe the sticky white icing out of your hair when you’re done. If that stuff dries, you’ll never get it out.”