Friday, November 11, 2011

Tablets are Untethered, not Mobile Devices

Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD Group, says the reality is that a lot of tablet usage seems to be at home or in Wi-Fi hotspot areas. tablets are untethered, not mobile

"Consumers are maybe reluctant to pay $15 or $20 a month when they may just need cellular access for a few hours," Rubin says. "Obviously, for some time there's been a lot of discussion about per-person billing versus device-based billing, and the tablet situation has really made that more of a real issue versus a theoretical issue."

In other words, if mobile service providers want to encourage more tablet use on mobile broadband networks, they probably will have to start offering the equivalent of mobile broadband "family plans" now common for voice and text messaging services.

ABI Research reports that less than half of tablets actually ship with a cellular modem, and less than half of those are ever actually activated after shipment.

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