With Google and Microsoft both announcing new tablet devices with the Nexus 7 and Surface respectively, it’s pretty clear that the tablet market is gearing-up for a big expansion, similar to what happened in the smartphone market back in 2009/10. Right now the iPad dominates with market share of around 60%, but with the Google Nexus 7′s budget price and high specs, and the Surface’s enterprise appeal, Apple is going to face much tougher conditions over the next year.
You can therefore be certain that more and more of your customers and potential customers will be using tablet-optimised apps over the coming months. But what’s the difference between a tablet app and a smartphone app, and what are the key things you need to consider if you want to create a tablet strategy for your business?
Tablets are less mobile and much more likely to be used in the home, or in the office, than on the move. They’re also likely to be used in an environment where a desktop PC is also available. These two aspects play a big role in how consumers will use their device and should be taken into consideration when planning your app or strategy.
Tablet use is very similar to desktop use and, given the easier browsing experience enabled by the larger display, tablet users shop online much more than smartphone users (expect this trend to increase as tablets become more mainstream). Is your app intended to drive sales conversions through online retail? If so, then its worthwhile focusing on enhancing the tablet version.
Tablet users will, more likely than not, be on WiFi connections. So if your targeting tablet users with your app then you can take advantage of that higher bandwidth with streaming content or other multimedia features.
Tablet users also spend more time using their devices in a single session – the bigger screen means they’re more engaged. I’ve talked about developing promotional videogame, and interactive, apps in the past and focusing on a more in-depth tablet version can greatly increase engagement.
Higher value users
Tablet users – especially iPad users – are known to be much higher value than smartphone users, spending more money on apps and other content. This has been put down to different factors, one is the relative affluence of early adopters (something that may lessen as the tablet market expands), and the other is down to the perception of value created simply by having a larger display.