Tablet Trends

June 1, 2011

Focus Research just launched this Research FYI called The Tablet Takeover. In the report, they predict that as computer manufacturers launch new tablet devices to compete with the iPad, the market will experience accelerating growth over the next several years. According to available data, more than one-tenth of shoppers online are planning to purchase a tablet within the next half-year, suggesting that as many as 28 million of the devices could be sold in the coming five months, numbers suggest that demand could outpace supply. 

Forrester’s tablet forecast for 2011 offers their perspective and predictions on market drivers and the competitive landscape. Their call: The tablet market will grow rapidly, from 10.3 million US consumers in 2010 to 82 million in 2015. As the tablet market grows, product strategists must nurture both the app ecosystem and the browser environment — both will be key channels for delivering content experiences on tablets.
So what constitutes a tablet, exactly? This definition by Gartner, sums it up nicely: Media tablets are slate devices that support touch and run a lightweight OS such as iOS, Android, WebOS or Meego. Examples of media tablets are the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Cisco Cius.

Over 100 tablets were unveiled at CES in 2011. This list compiled by BGR’s Zach Epstein shows the entire line-up, making it clear that the Android operating system is poised to grab major market share from Apple, just as they did over the last year with the sale of Android smartphones. It’s an impressive list, but doesn’t include the dozens more tablets designed for enterprise use, including those by industry leaders Cisco, RIM, Avaya, and HP. 

The struggle to support tablets at the enterprise level is eloquently articulated in this CNN Money blog. As author Michal Lev-Ram puts it, “Tablets are small and lightweight, and they have the computing power to accommodate enterprise-class applications. But they’re also expensive, and can’t do some of the things a smart phone can (like make calls and fit in your pocket). What’s more, tablets have yet to prove their return on investment in the workplace.”

Security is another grave concern with the rise in tablet usage. This Information Week report sums it up: Smartphones have already altered the enterprise risk landscape, and tablets will only accelerate the pace of change. Employees want access from their personal devices, and companies need to provide it. The report offers 4 possible strategies for tackling mobile security, from Basic Device Management, to Enhanced Device Management to a Walled Garden Approach, to Risk-Based Management.

Innovative CIOs will turn the mobile device management challenge into a business opportunity—and show that IT can help people be more connected and collaborative, regardless of location.


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