The speed at which a technology can become ubiquitous is sometimes utterly astounding. According to a recent report, over a third of Americans now own tablets, and that number is only going to rise. Among consumers aged 18 to 34, tablet ownership is even more common, with over half of Americans in this key demographic owning a tablet. What began as an Apple revolution has blossomed with competition furiously keeping pace, as Android-based devices now account for 59% of tablets sold. Even more impressive is according to the report, 68% of US adults plan to purchase a tablet computer at some point in the future. These increases fall in line with a number of major consumer tech trends; namely the continued mobilization of technology.
Another thing that is driving tablet technology is its increased use in business applications. Just the other day for example, I went into a great local bar where the taps had iPad displays with a credit card swipe. Consumers were able to self serve and pay right from the taps, it was a really unique experience. The truth of the matter is that tablet computers are fun, they are the closest thing to everyone’s dream of Minority Report style computers. Traditional style PCs and laptops are typically more expensive, much larger, and less intuitive to use, and that is why they have begun to lag behind tablets. PC sales have fallen each of the past two years, and experts are projecting that tablets will outpace the entire PC market as soon as 2015. If market data is not enough to show that times are changing, Google just launched the world’s first tablet café.
Established in Dakar, The Equinoxe represents a possible solution to bringing the internet to third-world countries, who often are plagued with issues like frequent power outages. Tablet cafes like this one could take hold in places like Africa where most people cannot afford to buy the devices, additionally the tablet’s use of batteries and mobile data connections makes them immune to power cuts. The tablet is opening a lot of doors for people in developing countries that were previously slammed shut due to economic constraints. Take DataWind’s new tablet the Aakash 2, a tablet aimed solely at providing an affordable way to connect people in poor developing areas to the wealth of information on the internet. The tablet is being sold at the affordable price of $35US to qualifying students. This affordable tablet is already beginning to make waves, in May the Punjab government provided 150,000 students in rural Punjab with Aakash tablets in an effort to strengthen education in those rural areas.
The rapid increase in tablet ownership is not just transforming the computer hardware industry but many others as well, from media to advertising and retail. Second screen viewing, for example, has become a major trend, that will only continue to become more relevant. Shops like SoHo’s BaubleBar are taking advantage of the technology to improve the way we shop. Even websites are changing the way they design their pages to respond to the growing number of tablet users, responsive web design is one of the major trends of 2013. Tablets make shopping online a far more interactive and enjoyable experience, something consumers appreciate. In fact, tablets alone are expected to generate more than $65 billion in U.S. retail sales by 2017, or about 20%, as more shoppers take to mobile devices for online transactions. It’s almost comical to think that at one point people thought the iPad would not be successful, considering just how important the device and the others it inspired have become. The tablet’s future is incredibly bright.
Sent from my iPad