When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone for the first time in June 2007, the reception was mixed. Of course, few critics could argue with the cutting-edge touch screen technology and web-friendly capabilities the iPhone provided new users. But the overall mainstream opinion bounced along the lines of, “This is really cool, but since it isn’t necessarily essential technology, will it ever take off?”
Today, everyone has a smartphone. Not only techies and teens, but Grandpas and Grandmas. The iPhone has forced every other primary phone provider to compete by initiating their own lines of smartphones to compete and stay at the head of the mobile marketplace.
When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPad in 2010, the public response was very much the same. “Wow, this is incredible, but since it isn’t necessarily essential, will it ever take off?” There were other core questions surrounding the initial release of the iPad. For example, is it a laptop or is it a smartphone? Since most consumers have smartphones, and most consumers have a laptop or desktop, why would they need a tablet?
The launch of the iPhone completely transformed the mobile business industry. In a few more years, nothing but smart phones will be produced by major mobile manufacturers such as Sprint, Samsung, and AT&T. In the same way the iPhone transformed the mobile industry, the iPad is now doing the same to the tablet/PC world. Although the tablet is still in a transformative period of gaining traction as an essential day-to-day tool for the average American, its benefit in business is already apparent.
Keynote Systems is a San Mateo mobile Web monitoring company, and they recently surveyed mobile and tablet users in order to identify consumer trends. Let’s break down a few points of contention between tablets and smartphones.
We all know social networking is here to stay. Facebook is not a fad. It is a new and better way of communication. At this point, consumers tend to update their social profiles and connect on social networks at a greater rate on phones than on tablets, with 46% of users utilizing a phone and 31% doing so on a tablet. This makes sense as a smaller screen interface works fine for social networking.
Maps and Places are two of the most commonly used web applications by most people, and these apps are primarily used on phones instead of tablets. This also makes sense as most people access Maps and Places apps from inside of a car where smartphones are at hand’s reach.
Digital Media Consumption
Keynote found that there was little competition between tablet users and smartphone users in terms of digital media consumption. As one would expect, tablet users win out big time when it comes to watching movies, reading the news, reading blogs, and purchasing online. 76% of tablet owners engage in these types of activities on a regular basis, while only 59% of smartphone users do.
Mobile merchant accounts, such as Square, are now making iPads essential for processing payments at coffee shops, small vendors, and restaurants.
It’s evident that tablets are here to stay. However, we are still in a transition period where tablets are slowly gaining a more defined place among consumer behavior. Not only are tablets becoming essential for digital media consumption, but as tablet applications grow more sophisticated, they are becoming an essential tool for business people across the country. As the tablet grows more business friendly, and even an essential tool for business people, it’s growth in sales will most likely explode and the tablet will eventually move to seriously challenge the laptop as the primary technological tool in a business person’s toolbag.
This has been a guest post by Chris McIntyre from MerchantSeek.com.
Image Source | trainingjournal.com