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Devices/smartphones

SlideshowTablets Grow Like 'OMG' in Q1

No, not this kind of tablets.

Sarah Thomas 5/1/2014 | 5:49:09 PM
still popular when free? T-Mobile's growth is impressive starting from a base of zero, but it still has a long ways to go to catch up to its peers. When the free data runs out is when things will get interesting. Is that a promotion it can renew?
jabailo 5/2/2014 | 12:51:32 PM
Re: still popular when free? In the past year, after declaring for a long time I needed a keyboard or nothing, I bought a cheap Ideatab and have used the heck out it ever since.

Howeer, I rarely take it outdoors.  Inside, I use it to quickly browse sites like Facebook, but with Chromecast it's now become my Universal Remote because I use it to "cast" video entertainment from Netflix and YouTube and also music streams from Rhapsody and Pandora to my LCD/Soundbar set up.

That said, the traditional tablet still seems a bit rarified perhaps because I don't own an "always connected" version (though, I could carry around a Clear hotspot).  I hardly ever take it outdoors, not only because of limited Wifi but also because they don't make screens that work in sunlight. (For this reason, I've stuck with the Kindle e.Ink which is not only a tremendous bargain, but also works even better in bright sunlight and has a battery that lasts for one or two weeks!)  Having one with built in LTE sounds like a solution, but does it raise the costs too high?  


I have long felt we're entering what I've termed the Pocket Calculator era for computers, where people expect to be able to grab and go, just like taking a legal pad from the office supply room.  I want to be able to leave my tablet on the plane, or have it stolen, and go to office depot and get another for under $100.   Do these higher priced, but always wired tablets fit the bill?

 
Sarah Thomas 5/2/2014 | 1:00:45 PM
Re: still popular when free? I'm the same way. I never take my own on the go with me. Would love to use it when I commute, but I worry it would get stolen. I really only use it on airplanes and for FaceTime when I travel internationally, but my fiance and parents use their's all the time. I think it's a case-by-case basis, but a lot of people will want to give themselves the freedom to use it whenever and however, so will buy the LTE version when the price is neglible, as T-Mobile has made it. If you aren't required to use the data, there's no downside.
Mitch Wagner 5/2/2014 | 4:03:42 PM
Re: still popular when free? My iPad is a workhorse for me when I travel for business. I leave the laptop in the hotel room and use the iPad with a keyboard for most computing. 

I was reluctant to get the LTE option, thinking I'd have WiFi access everywhere I needed connectivity. But when I got the LTE, I was glad I did. It's not that expensive and so much more convenient when just connecting for a few minutes in an airport or a hotel lobby. 

And these Q1 results for carriers are particularly interesting in light of iPad sales slumping for Apple. 
kq4ym 5/4/2014 | 9:06:01 AM
Re: still popular when free? I still haven't caught on the why I need a tablet. Other than some convenience when traveling, I still haven't used them much. But any gadget is going to see growth in sales and use at least for a time. Who knows, maybe the next growth spurt will be the wearables market as we get our data fixes from glasses or watches?
jabailo 5/4/2014 | 4:02:53 PM
Re: still popular when free? It's a device that finds uses.

For example, if you consume any type of social media, like Twitter or Facebook, you'll find it so much easier to reach for the tablet than cranking up the PC and yet, the bigger screen is more readable.   It's nice for informational web browsing.  Being able to call up a recipe and also take it into the kitchen without printing (in general, anything that you would print and carry with you, you can now bring up on a tablet, and take the tablet).

You will be frustrated and sent running back to the keyboard if you ever want to express a thought that is more than a quip or bonmot, although I'm getting better at creating complete paragraphs with it.

And, as mentioned, Chromecast is making it indespensible as a remote control device.  Also it's introduces a different gaming style than the controller/console/screen model, one where all three are combined in one and you can twist and turn the whole device to drive a car, or do battle, or do 1st-person gaming.  

That's really something.   With a 4G connection, there's location based gaming.  I tried one of those and while it wasn't more than a quarter-baked, I could see where it might lead eventually.

And while I prefer my Kindle e.Ink for reading, I can easily add the Kindle App and have a back lit reader for low light situations, plane travel and airports.  So here it takes a proprietary device and makes it generic.

 
Sarah Thomas 5/5/2014 | 12:00:50 PM
Re: still popular when free? This isn't a growth spurt early in the life of tablets though (and actually tablet sales are slumping a bit over at Apple, as Mitch points). This growth spurt is a result of how tablets are being priced at operators, I think. A good lesson for the wearables category.
Sarah Thomas 5/5/2014 | 12:02:20 PM
Re: still popular when free? Good points, jabailo. I haven't used it as a remote, but it is a great second screen for TV viewing. And, for recipes. Okay, I guess I don't use my tablet that much, but I should start. It's a better screen than my phone, but I guess laziness is the main reason why I typically reach for my phone instead.
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