Tablets to take over

The tablet isn’t a new invention but the iPad has created a phenomenally popular category that was a non-starter before Apple invested. A recent study by Google’s Admob services indicates tablet owners generally use them for more than an hour a day, usually at evenings. GQ editor, Dominic West, wrote in July’s magazine, “We’ve been unable to resist the allure of the iPad because we have immediately formed a genuine bond with it. We just like it.” Even the Queen reportedly ordered one via younger family members.

I’m not hugely impressed by the hardware myself, although I do love its portability and the awe-inspiring battery life compared to my heavy MacBook Pro . But what’s simply staggering to see is others (especially non-techies) interacting with it. They’re utterly engrossed as soon as they hold it. That first two-minute fix on an iPad is similar to watching someone holding a newborn family member for the first time: captivating.

It’s a stroke of marketing genius by Apple to include Photo Booth, a small photo editing package that lets users manipulate the camera’s image before taking the picture (usually of themselves). It’s so intuitive my two-year-old son learned how to use it in seconds, having seen his five-year-old sister figure it out for herself! It’s bags of fun for all the family as they look like they’ve entered the crazy mirror thing in the circus.

Today’s Times states that John Lewis’ mobile sales have doubled in the past year and now account for 5 to 7 per cent of online sales (presumably by revenue rather than by volume). Regardless of gimmicks, phones and tablets are set to become the devices consumers use to interact with you online over the next two to five years. The trend is undeniable, less desktop, less laptop, more smartphone and loads more tablet.

Is your site ready for that?

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