Tablets Are Everywhere
It is safe to say that tablet are here to stay and have practically become a “must have” in today’s society.
To reinforce this notion you only have to glance at the drooping figures for PCs and the sky-rocketing growth in tablet shipments.
When unveiling the first iPad in January 2010, Steve Jobs suggested that it would fill a gap between the smartphone and the PC – one that at the time was being taken on by netbooks. “The problem is netbooks aren’t better at anything,” Jobs said at the time. “They’re just cheap laptops. And we don’t think they’re a third category of device.”
As Jobs predicted, netbooks are all but gone and the tablet format has become the “third form” of computing, along with the smartphone and PC. The tablet in some sense is becoming a lot like a microwave in that it will become a mainstay device in homes and business everywhere.
The latest research suggests that tablets will become the primary device used in homes with the majority of households in developed countries by 2017. Estimates show that 60% of online consumers in North America and 42% in European countries owning at least one by 2017. By then 905 million people worldwide, equivalent to one in eight of the global population, will own a tablet according to Forrester Research.
Forrester also projects that tablet sales will grow at a compound rate of 25.6% annually through to 2017 to reach 381m – larger than the worldwide PC market has ever been.
The key to tablets’ success, says Forrester, is its “hyper-portability.” Tablets can be used in the home, while traveling, in restaurants (30% of biker skull tee shirts adults with a tablet said they’d done that), while at work etc., etc. In many cases, tablets now compete with smartphones in terms of their mobility for applications such as email, accessing the internet and more. This applies to both consumers and business. One example is Logitech. They have created a proprietary tablet app for their sales staff in China which can take photos of retail outlets to check inventory and window displays, tagged to location. This would be very difficult to do using a heavy clumsy laptop and becomes a similar challenge on the small size of a smartphone.
The introduction by Amazon of the Kindle Fire, and then Google’s Nexus 7, followed by Apple’s iPad mini, and the successive media coverage might make it seem that small tablets are what people really want.
Not so, says Forrester: 61% of people who own or “have interest in” tablets preferred tablets between 8.9in and 10.1in (the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 through to the iPad and Samsung 10.1). Then, 16% prefer the smaller Men’s Cotton Break the Chains Short Sleeve T Shirts 7in-8in size. So that leaves 23% who could be persuaded either way. There are some who could be interested in even larger tablets (there have been rumors, unsubstantiated, of Apple working on a 13in iPad). But the key element is that there’s a sizable segment who need to see a tablet in a shop before deciding.
Interestingly enough however, children prefer the smaller 7 inch tablet. Not only is it easier for their smaller hands, it is lighter and more portable for backpacks and more importantly, moms purse. Hence the popularity of the somewhat pricey Nabi and Meep Tablets and the many new offerings in that size for children.
On that note, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a quality tablet that catered the whole family, with dual logins, one for “Grown Ups” and one for “Kids,” and better yet, priced under $100? Surprise! Walmart thought so too and they now feature the ClickN KIDS tablet. Your dream will be fulfilled – a full featured mass market educational tablet value priced and also preinstalled with dozens of the most popular games that kids love.
But for the PC businesses, the outlook still looks grim. PC sales are only falling – and the “post-PC” age, where the PC of old is only one of many ways in which we carry out computing tasks, is becoming more and more clear. PCs do one class of task; smartphones do another; and tablets do a class that is in between both of those.
Will PCs disappear? I don’t think so as there are still too many occasions where people need the larger size and power that only desktop computers can provide. However, with today’s generation growing up with tablets, and the new PCs coming with touch screen monitors, PCs as we know them will continue to play a lesser role in our daily lives. For me, the portability and power of my smartphone and tablet are unbeatable and that is just not going to change with today’s more fast paced and mobile world.