“The Bigger the Better” seems to be the idea these days. Be it the sandwich for a quick lunch, TV screen for our living rooms, plane for travel, mug for a freshly brewed coffee, man’s best friend, or these days – a cellular phone. The bigger size especially in cell phones (tablets as these are called) definitely has something to do with functionality & features; but the main reason for this recent shift is to become more socially visible. Thus, hunger for social acceptance and superiority is driving these changes in consumer behaviour and preferences.
In addition to the social consciousness, the available Tablets in market like HTC Flyer, Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Note and of course the iPad also pose substantial benefits to the users. A single device having the capability of cell phone as well as a note book or laptop certainly offers mobility and handling benefits to its users. People do not have to carry multiple devices like laptops, cell phones, writing pads etc. during the meetings and conferences. They can use a single device for taking notes, checking their emails, browsing, preparing documents and of course making calls. Additionally, the Tablets also have commercial benefits. In the recent times of financial crunch, these devices help their users get away with the headache of managing two bills one for the phone and other for laptop internet connection and merge the two into one commercial package which is far more economical to handle. Furthermore, the prices for these Tablets are almost similar to Smart phones. This is the most significant feature that has spurred acceptance to the new idea.
Another important factor contributing to the widespread acceptance of Tablets is the shift in application/utility of a cell phone. During the nineties and early two thousands, the basic utility of carrying a Cell phone was to make phone calls or text messages and to remain in continuous contact despite being away from home or offices. However, the market dynamics have changed significantly and the application of phones for browsing, social networking, office administration, reporting, gaming, running media files has far surpassed their earlier posed utility of calls and text messages.
Students prefer phones for browsing and social networking whereas professionals fancy them for official correspondence and mobile office capability. These changes have created space for Tablets to enter the market and gain popularity.
Apple and Samsung were the first to materialise these benefits and are considered as pioneers in the Tablet market. Apple’s iPad was a bit too large (10” screen) and was primarily considered as a substitute to office computer/laptop. However, Samsung was the most inventive in a sense that it came up with a hybrid 7” screen tablet which was easy to carry and use as both a laptop/notebook as well as a cell phone. The Galaxy Tab by Samsung is the market driver for such kind of devices. However, other manufacturers are quickly gaining on the idea and tablets like HTC flyer are also catching up nowadays.
Despite all the valid benefits of this technology, it still has to go a long way in market acceptance. Such devices are popular with a specific segment of customers e.g. corporate officials, ladies (because they can carry everything from a Tablet to 14” TC in their large sized bags these days) and students to an extent. However, most people still prefer the smartphones that can slip into their pockets and pose almost similar benefits as the tablets.
Moreover, the technology is moving so fast these days that you never know when a new gadget will pop up and subside the success of tablets. We have witnessed this with electronics like TC and video games. TV seems anarchic these days as the due to the progression from flat screen to LCD to LED to 3D TV. Similarly, in video games we have seen the shift from Atari & Sega to PS 3 and Xbox 360 in a gap of less than one generation. Therefore, despite the prevalent success of tablets a definite danger still persists in the form of a rapid technological advance.