Connected tablets: the missing piece of the IoT puzzle?

As we move further into 2015, the Internet of Things ecosystem continues to explode. Innovations like Amazon’s Dash Button and the soon-to-be-released Apple Watch continue the steady stream of increasingly cool, trendy and even fashionable developments enabling our increasingly connected lives.

However, the full potential of the Internet of Things can only really be met once we are always connected to the internet – and while smartphones have got us so far, other devices – specifically tablets – don’t always deliver the connectivity we need. Tablets were initially designed to make our digital lives more mobile and more comfortable – but the fact remains that only 25% of tablets sold are cellular enabled (Source: IHS 2014), meaning that their online capabilities when on the move are very limited. In a world that’s created smart watches that can change your mood, the notion of tablets that can’t connect on-demand seems backwards. Sometimes the Internet of Things needs to go back to basics.

With that in mind, we commissioned some research among consumers to find out how they use their tablets and what their on-the-go needs are. We’ve illustrated the findings in an infographic you can view by clicking the below image.

Tablet infographic

You can read the results in detail in the infographic, but there seems to be a gap in the market here. I already expressed the thought there was a great market opportunity for both MNOs and OEMs, and the result of this survey increases my belief. On-the-go connectivity needs are generally unplanned and infrequent, and the current tablet model is too inflexible – meaning consumers either have to spend a lot of time preparing or they just use their mobile instead.

Instead, why not connect on-demand? A built-in SIM can give full control of your subscription, allowing you to spend the money you want to spend, the simplicity of connecting without worrying setting up a SIM card, the flexibility of choosing the right data plan, and the good feeling that both the device maker and the MNO understand their needs.

We spoke to some of the survey participants about this concept and they loved the sound of it. Connecting tablets on-demand in this way will not only erase the last ludicrously missing piece of many consumer electronic devices, it will also open up new revenues for both MNOs and OEMs.

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