Tablet Growth Presents Continuing Opportunities

While global PC shipments sounds like they grew a solid 12% year-on-year for 2012 now that Q4 numbers are rolling in,  you have to include tablets to arrive at that number.  In fact one in every six PCs shipped during Q4 was an iPad. During the Q4 of 2012, Apple secured a 20% share of global PC shipments for the quarter, thanks mostly to strong iPad sales.  Q4 numbers without tablets paint a much different picture – worldwide PC shipments without tablets were only 89.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, down 6.4% from the same quarter in 2011.

Principal analyst at Gartner, Mikako Kitagawa, states that tablets have changed the device landscape by becoming  an alternative to a PC rather than a complement. And it is in this light where the opportunity for tablet application development comes in. Rather than thinking of tablets as big smartphones, approaching the device as an alternate to a laptop opens several new opportunities for application development.

If you break Apple’s numbers down you can see the impact tablets are having on the market, of the 27 million units Apple shipped, 22.9 million were iPads and 4.1 million were Macs.

Key to developing a strategy to leverage the massive growth of the tablet market is understanding the differences between tablets and other devices. Don’t just plan on your tablet app being a big smart phone app. Take advantage of additional navigational features and the extra screen size. Generally tablet apps preform poorly when that are just enlarged versions of smartphone apps and not optimized for the format. Likewise tablets have much different operating systems than desktops and laptops and its important to take advantage of those differences with your app.

If you look at the fact that tablets are replacing PCs or laptops in many situations and look at the software needs in those situations there are great opportunities for tablet app development to be had. This is different than the approach we have seen from many in the past where they simply try to build bigger versions of iPhone or Android Apps.  How can you streamline desktop software into a high-performing iPad app? or Android tablet app? There are many opportunities in this area that savvy businesspeople can take advantage of right now.

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Kimber Johnson

Kimber Johnson

Managing Director at Vanity Point
Kimber Johnson is the Managing Director of Vanity Point, Kimber has worked within the web development, graphics design, mobile application development, marketing and advertising fields for over 17 years.

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