In the recent past, tablets and other mobile devices have seen their sales skyrocket, leaving conventional laptops and desktops in their dust.But what are the factors behind this growth and what does it mean for your business?
Due to the convenience, mobility, and small size of handheld devices, they are making it easier and simpler to run your business and redefining how you can make your business prosper while in the office or on the move.
Understanding the numbers
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To truly understand the size of the global transition from personal computers to tablets, you first need to understand the numbers. According to a recent study by technological research giant Gartner Incorporated, worldwide shipments of tablets will grow to over 197 million units shipped annually.
This figure puts growth at an astonishing 69.8 per cent from 2012 to 2013, which is a similar figure to the growth from 2011 to 2012. Aside from more units being purchased and sold, 25 per cent of companies now say that they will give employees tablets instead of laptops to do work from home.
Why are computers diminishing in popularity?
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For the past several years, sales of personal computers have gone down by an average of 14 per cent per year. However, let’s not exaggerate the diminished sales too much. PCs still sell over 79 million each quarter, equating to 316 million units every year. The reason for their decline has many factors.
The most important and vital aspect of the decline has been a lack of innovation or new ideas for personal computers. Windows 8 flopped. Other companies can’t compete with the computing power of tablets. As time goes on (sooner than later), tablets will cannibalize the entire personal computing industry.
Popularization of tablets in businesses
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Due to the wide variety of tablets, these tablets have become outrageously popular not only for consumers, but businesses as well. The hardest part is finding the best tablet for you or your business. While small businesses are still making the transition to these tablets, their use by consumers makes for an interesting future. With so many people using tablets to surf the web, find stores, and make purchases online, you can’t afford to not be up with the latest apps for mobile devices.
The number of apps
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Perhaps the single most driving force of tablets as a replacement for PCs is the number of apps available. There are apps for just about everything you could think of across the board. This isn’t exclusive for consumers; it extends to businesses as well, which is why your small business must keep up with the latest apps to forge a better customer base.
Additionally, providing wi-fi at your business could link consumers with your business. It’s the primary reason apps are so valuable. They are useful and available just about anywhere.
The advantages of tablets vs. PCs
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For your business, you must have a computer. There really is no substitute. However, it’s important to consider what features you need in order to optimize your device and make it work for you. Consider several advantages of tablets. First, they have a degree of portability that makes them super convenient. You can take them on the go and check emails, talk with suppliers, or think of the next big promotion and send it to your potential customers.
Due to some of the latest apps and the extension of business software to tablet operating systems, you can do almost everything on your tablet that you can do on a laptop or desktop computer. Tablets now run Microsoft Office, so you can create spreadsheets, presentations, and documents at your convenience. Data storage has also increased from 8 gigabytes all the way up to 64 gigabytes, so storing your information is not a concern.
The most important aspect in any business is the bottom line. You need to turn a profit to be successful, and one of the challenges presented by having your own business is cutting costs. With a tablet, you can start with savings.
Tablets cost anywhere from about $200 to $1,000. However, this makes them cheaper than your average laptop or desktop. On top of that, if you already have a smartphone, you can get extra savings by coupling your data plan from your phone with your tablet. By doing this, you effectively can manage your business from a remote location, and leave yourself more time for whatever it is you love to do outside of business.
Merchandising and marketability
While you could print off hundreds of pages of papers to address in-store issues such as merchandising, it’s easier to simply have all of that information at your fingertips. Many apps can help you organize the layout of your store so it’s more appetizing to the eye, which, in turn, translates into sales.
If you have several employees, linking them together via tablets is to your advantage. If everyone is on the same page, then logistically, you can make your business run more smoothly and efficient.
Keeping your supply chain intact and running smoothly is a key to any successful business. So, to see when your latest shipments are coming in or to organize a large purchase from a customer, tablets are essential. They allow you to keep constant communication while running business errands, or even personal errands around town. Non-stop communication is one of the many advantages of the new tablet era.
While you may not need a tablet for your business, remember that by 2015, tablet sales will be more than desktops and laptops combined. In the business game, remember that technological leaders, or at least those that use it efficiently, tend to have the upper hand.
If you are neck and neck with a competitor, having devices that allow you to send information and keep up-to-date on your supply chain and employees can make all the difference in the world. Considering that there’s an app for just about anything, you just need common sense to realize the advantages of using a tablet for small business. And there’s no app for common sense.