Tablets Are Not Used As Smartphones

By Joe Rizzo July 12, 2013

When you look at the size of some of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, you may wonder if it is supposed to be a large phone or small tablet. Apparently these type of devices are being called phablet devices. While you can do a lot with a tablet, including video chatting on most models, it is not a smartphone.

Companies like Microsoft are trying to provide software that runs the same across the smartphone, tablet and PC platforms. It is nice to have to learn only one way of doing something across all the platforms and have it work consistently. However, each of the three devices is unique.

It should not come as a surprise that a recent report from Moffett Research shows about 95 percent of tablets are not being used as smartphones, but rather as a more portable replacement for desktop computers and televisions.

This is a question that I have been thinking about myself. The thought that runs through my mind is “How am I going to use my tablet when I finally buy one?” I have smartphone that I can do just about anything with. I have a laptop with a built in webcam. What do I need in a tablet?

The first thought I had was that since I have a smartphone, I really do not need to spend extra money to buy a tablet with 3G or 4G mobile Internet connectivity. I am not going to use the tablet to make phone calls. If I want to use it for video chatting, I can use a Wi-Fi connection in the same way that I use my laptop.

It appears that the report from Moffett Research has come to a similar conclusion. According to Craig Moffett of Moffett Research, within the U.S. market only 20 percent of tablets sold are specified with either 3G or 4G LTE mobile Internet connectivity. 

Only 50 percent of that total is connected to a network using a data plan. Moffett also estimates that half of those data contracts are subsequently discontinued. This means that only about five percent of tablets in use in the U.S. are being used like a smartphone.

A report by NPD Group, which provides market information and advisory services, found that more than a third of U.S. consumers use their smartphones and tablets for surfing the web, using social media and playing games instead of their computers.

The latest data on tablet app use shows that their usage peaks in the evening while the same data relating to smartphones reveals that app usage is continuous throughout the day with peaks during early morning and early evening. This means that smartphone usage is mostly during the daily commute.

If you are using your tablet to browse the Internet, or access social media sites, or to watch a movie, you do not need the additional cost of 3G or 4G on your device. A clear Wi-Fi connection will give your tablet enough speed to do all of that. Since I can use my smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, my tablet would also always be connected.

Edited by Ryan Sartor

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

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