In 2012 alone, it is estimated that some 118.9 million tablets will have been sold around the world (gartner.com); an increase of 98 per cent on figures recorded in 2011. By 2014, it is expected the figure will rise further still, potentially reaching 369 million.
This means one in fifty households owned a tablet in 2011, compared to more than one in ten a year later (itpro.co.uk). With growth set to continue this way for years to come, the already thriving tablet market looks to become even more buoyant.
As the volume of tablets in use has grown, so too has the need to connect them. This is something that thousands more people every day are finding out, although not all of them are tablet owners. Business proprietors have seen the effect that Wi-Fi provision can have on a business (or what effect not offering it can have) too.
For certain types of outlets (cafés, restaurants, and bars), offering free Wi-Fi is a sure-fire way of getting customers in through the door. Also, connected customers are more than willing to while away hours at a location where their mobile devices are connected – meaning that what may have started off as one coffee may then blossom into two or three.
For retailers, the incentives are even greater. Connected customers may wish to get online in order to check reviews of a certain product, or visit social networks to seek advice. Those who may have initially found themselves putting the product back could end up being swayed into a purchase.
Tablets can certainly cure the ill’s of the High Street.