Current trends show that tablet computer sales have been increasing as a result of new market demand. The reason for this trend is the fact that tablet computers are being marketed by software companies such as Microsoft and Apple as replacements for laptop computers, most likely due to their greater portability and accessible interface. All of this is in response to maintaining relevancy and meeting the ever fluctuating demand of consumers.
Besides more aggressive marketing campaigns, tablets have found their use increasing in the business and private sector, reaching new markets and demographics that require reliable devices that are easy to use. The three markets that are responsible for the increased demand in tablet computers are children, healthcare workers/industry, and surprisingly, the elderly.
In the case of children, educational services are slowly becoming more accessible via tablet computers. In Japan, over 900,000 customers in the elementary, junior high, and high school grade levels have enrolled in tablet-based educational programs meant to replace in-class “paper courses.” Experiments conducted in Ethiopia by Tufts’ Center for Reading and MIT show that widespread tablet use has great potential in the fight against illiteracy.
Tablet computer sales have been increasing due to new market demands, one of which is the healthcare industry, and emergency medical services in particular. During the events of Hurricane Sandy, paramedics found that tablets such as the iPad were invaluable in their efforts to coordinate rescue operations. Tablets were used to track and store data and information, and applications being developed have assisted EMTs in communication with hospitals and assisted in medical diagnoses. The potential for further development is vast and likely.
The elderly have also played a significant part in the increased demand for tablets. Tablet use among senior citizens had increased by twelve percent between 2012 and 2013. This increase in tablet use has also been responsible for a similar surge in internet use among seniors. However, seniors are still less likely to use their tablets in a similar fashion to that of their younger counterparts. Seniors have demonstrated that their primary use for tablets is for web browsing and email. They typically spend the least amount of time browsing on the internet as opposed to the 16-24 demographic.
Apple’s iPad debuted back in 2010, and it naturally spurred its competitors into developing their own offshoots in an attempt to capitalize on the demand this new product would create. This competition has led to new uses for tablet computers as well as the need for those same companies to meet the demands of its consumers, primarily the new markets that have been showing an increased demand for tablets.
The fact that tablet computer sales are increasing because of these new market demands shows just how innovative this new aspect of technology is proving itself to be. If current trends hold, it is likely that tablets and other similar devices will usher in a new era of technological advancement, shaping the way our culture evolves. Just as the development and widespread use of the printing press led to the sharing and communication of new ideas and philosophies, the use of tablets and their applications may just become one of the most significant moments in technological history.
Opinion by David Jones