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Choosing the Right Tablet for Your Retail Field Force

Choosing the Right Tablet for Your Retail Field Force

Posted on : Tuesday, December 3, 2013 by : StayinFront

When the iPad hit the market in 2010, it had a major impact on field activities across all industries. Three years later, we now see the consumer goods industry adopting not only the iPad, but also the new breed of mobile devices and solutions now available to conduct retail execution as well as present new selling opportunities. Without a doubt, the growing tablet market is triggering more technologies like new apps and software.

Apple vs. Android vs. Windows 8

When speaking with StayinFront clients, it’s clear that tablets are here to stay, but the market is definitely shifting. Although iPad discussions are still prevalent, more clients are looking at Android tablets, particularly in price sensitive markets, and asking to see how our solution looks on Android and Windows 8 tablets.

Once the favorite with over 90% of tablet market share, Apple now finds itself in a fierce competitive battle. Shipments fell dramatically by 2.4 million in June 2013, while, according to TrendForce, Samsung shipments increased by an estimated 8.8 million. An IDC report supports the rumors that Android tablets are outpacing iPads. By the end of 2013, iPad should have 46% of market share vs. 48.8% for Android, due in part to Android’s strategy of releasing a constant flow of new devices catering to the low and mid range markets.

Forecasts predict that:

-       By 2016, overall tablet sales are expected to increase 11%

-       By 2017 iPads will account for 43.5% of tablet sales compared to Android’s 46%.

For consumer goods organizations, tablet choice comes down to Flexibility, Functionality and Costs.

As technology evolves, companies need their software to keep up.  That means a mobile retail execution solution that gives companies the flexibility to take advantage of even greater hardware functionality and advancements as they become available, as well as competitive device pricing.  Software that locks a company into a specific platform could be a competitive disadvantage or, at the very least, require a time-consuming and disruptive platform switch.

The big question for the tablet and mobility market relates to Microsoft and its Hardware vendors: Can they develop an offering for the enterprise market that it powerful, flexible, portable and tactile at the right price point? If so, the predictions for 2016 and 2017 could look very different.

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