Enterprise Mobility: Tablets Are Changing the Shape of Mobile Computing: 10 Fundamental Ways
Smartphones Are More Appealing
Tablets deliver the same basic experience that iOS- and Android-based devices offer; they only do so in a larger form factor. So, if consumers are intrigued by what tablets deliver but they dont want to dish out several hundred dollars to test them out, they can opt for a device such as the iPhone or the Motorola Droid X. And in many cases, they do. If nothing else, tablets have helped smartphones.
It Takes the Power from Microsoft
Microsoft has had a powerful influence on mobile computing from the earliest days of laptop computers. The software makers Windows platform has been the go-to operating system for laptops, notebooks, netbooks and even mobile phones and some smartphones. But with the help of the iPad and Android-based products, all that has changed. Microsofts influence has diminished as customers turn to devices running operating systems other than Windows.
Are Netbooks Necessary?
Back in 2009, netbooks were all the rage in the mobile market. Consumers and enterprise customers were buying them by the thousands because they were fine alternatives to lightweight notebooks. But now that tablets have become so popular, netbooks have taken a backseat. Its quite clear that within the next couple years they might just be eliminated altogether by tablets.
What About Lightweight Notebooks?
If netbooks are losing ground in the mobile market, its not hard to see why lightweight notebooks are, as well. Tablets offer up to 10.1-inch displays, they come with many PC-like features, and they deliver more mobility than lightweight notebooks. Across the board, they simply deliver a better experience for the average customer. Those that are thinking seriously about getting their hands on a device like the MacBook Air are realizing that an iPad might be a better bet.
The corporate world has always been focused heavily on getting the most out of employees for the least amount possible. But tablets have affected that possibility in several ways. For one, tablets offer more entertainment prospects, like Netflix, that make them potential drains on productivity. At the same time, they afford workers more opportunities to get work done than they might be able to get out of a smartphone. Simply put, there are pros and cons to tablets when it comes to enterprise productivity.
The Fingers Matter More
One of the central ways tablets have changed the mobile market is by requiring users to rely more upon their fingers than a mouse or trackpad. Its an interesting shift in the mobility space. Its something that some people love and others cant stand. Tablets have practically ensured that going forward, the mobility market will be filled with touch screens.
Security Concerns Galore
Worrying about security is a part of life when it comes to computing. Some platforms, like Windows, tend to be potentially more worrisome than Mac OS X. But in the mobile market, security issues havent necessarily reared their ugly head. That said, as tablets become more popular, one can easily expect cyber-criminals to target this new class of mobile devices. Its a growing, largely untapped market that cyber-criminals would love to exploit.
The Stalwarts Aren't the Only Option
In the computing business, the number of companies that consumers can turn to is relatively limited. HP, Dell, Acer and Apple tend to be the top choices among customers. Every now and then, they opt for other products from Sony, Lenovo or boutique vendors. But the tablet space has changed all that. The top PC vendors are competing in the tablet space by Samsung, LG and several other companies that were prominent in mobile phones and smartphones, but werent known as personal computer makers. The merging of the phone market with the mobile PC sector will provide not only more options for customers but also greater competitive pressures.
Research In Motion has always been an important company in the mobile space. Its phones have proven to be extremely popular among enterprise users and its impact in the smartphone market has been felt for years. But with the growth of tablets, RIMs importance has subsided a bit. Whether it can change that with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook remains to be seen. But at least for now, RIM just isnt as important as it once was.
The Decline of Physical Keyboards?
For the most part, tablets come with a virtual keyboard rather than a physical keyboard. Admittedly, physical keyboards are still alive and well in other areas of computing. But when it comes to the mobility market, having a physical keyboard could turn away customers. Thats precisely why more and more companies are providing touch screens with their products. Touch screens such as those on the iPad and Motorola Xoom will determine the difference between success and failure in todays mobile marketplace.