This is a guest post from Ryan Kaye, Client Services Director at CTI Digital
When the iPad first launched (April 2010), we bought a few at work and played with them, and like everybody else I thought these are pretty cool, but it’s just a big iPhone, or perhaps a cool coffee table ornament and it’s not going to change the world.
A little over 18 months on my opinion has completely changed and I am convinced they’re a complete game changer.
Earlier this year the sale of tablets overtook Laptops and PC’s and now they are outselling Laptops by a ratio of 2:1. Conversion rates are higher on tablets than desktop PC’s and both android and iTunes stores are already transacting billions a year in virtual goods.
Why is this happening?
- Tablets are quicker – I mean in terms of time to turn on and be in use, the critical factor that previously prevented me bothering to open my laptop bag and search for a spare plug socket.
- They’re interactive – the move away from a mouse is more profound than anybody previously realised, by touching, pinching, rotating and swiping we are making it feel more tactile and real. It’s probably psychological but I never bothered reading more than a few pages on a PC, anything longer was printed first, with tablets I don’t care.
- They really are mobile – Anybody who has ran for a train and walked further than 10 minutes with their laptop I am sure will agree they are heavy and cumbersome. If you have tried to write a document on a train, plane or car, you can no doubt testify it’s generally a cramped annoying experience. Tablets aren’t.
- They can be used by all ages – My dad bought an iPad when they first came out, which baffled me, “you never use the internet and still can’t use your mobile phone, what do you need and iPad for?” I said. He now uses it almost every day and buys more online than I do. A young child does not have the motor skills to use a mouse but I have seen two year olds playing angry birds and watching cartoons, more importantly they can work it themselves.
- They remove barriers– Again maybe psychological but the laptop screen is a barrier and from moving to tablets you generally engage more with people and find it easier to share, show and collaborate.
- The proliferation of smart phones – Touchscreen technology has been around for a few years now in smart phones and people are starting to expect to be able to use gestures for everything else. I read recently about a vending machine manufacturer who had to recall their latest machine because people were trying to swipe the images and thought it was broke. The president has already been set and we have to adapt to this new expectation.
- They fit in with our busy lives better – By this I mean we are all very rarely doing one thing at a time anymore. Tablets are used most when people are at home watching TV or doing something else. Anyone who’s lap has got too hot or back has gone into spasms for using the laptop in bed will find if you have a tablet you very quickly gather dust on your old laptop.
I will concede there are still some things you cannot do on a tablet you can with a PC but you soon will be able to. In summary tablets are better, easier to use and give us a much richer experience.
The Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones, we evolved and moved on. The age of the mouse is dying and those who adapt and evolve best will survive.