Tablets could spur mobile data boom

MOBILE

|
Image: Apple's iPad 2. By BiztechAfrica
Apple's iPad 2

South African telecoms solutions firm Nashua Mobile says tablet computers are surging in popularity and could spark added demand for mobile data.

The company expects the rapidly growing tablet computer market to spark new demand for mobile data that will handsomely benefit South African cellular operators and service providers in the next few months.

That’ s the word from Tim Walter, executive head of marketing at Nashua Mobile. He notes that Gartner forecasts that annual global tablet shipments will jump from less than 18 million in 2010 to 294 million in 2015. Much of this growth is cannibalising worldwide sales of PCs and notebooks as end-users start to consume more of their media on the run from their tablet computers.  

Says Walter: “ The runaway success of the iPad and the iPad 2 in the South African market indicates that there is a real hunger among local consumers and business users for tablet computers with cellular data connections. Apple’ s local distribution and retail partner sold hundreds of iPad 2 units within hours of the product hitting the shelves on April 29.

“ Unusually for a computer product launch in South Africa, people were queuing for the iPad 2 before stores even opened on that day. The most popular models of the iPad 2 were those with both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, which sold out in many stores within the space of a few hours. That’ s just a taste of the growth to come from the tablet market.”

Walter says that the tablet market can be expected to enjoy strong growth in the coming months, with new Android tablets from the likes of Motorola arriving in South Africa as well as the upcoming launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook.  

“ Users have only a few tablet options to choose from right now – basically, it’ s the Apple iPad or Samsung’ s Android-based Galaxy Tab. But that picture is changing fast. With more choice from June onwards, more competition and more marketing, we can expect to see the tablet market really take off,” Walter says.

“ Since so many tablets ship with integrated 3G connectivity, this will be good news for mobile operators, opening up a whole new market for them to address.” Although initial shipments of the BlackBerry PlayBook and some of the other new devices may be Wi-Fi only models, tablets with 3G connectivity will eventually dominate the market, believes Walter.  

Walter says that some of the growth will come at the expense of cellular data usage on smartphones and notebooks, but much of it will be new. End-users will begin to devour more cellular data as they use their tablets to browse the Web, send and receive emails, read magazines and books, play online games, watch video and use business applications.

Walter says that to capitalise on the growth of the tablet market, service providers and operators will need to put together affordable data bundles, possibly with subsidised hardware. Eventually, this market will add up to a substantial opportunity since tablet users will be consuming a lot of data to cater for their appetite for rich online media and applications, he concludes.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE MOBILE NEWS

Student, others now landlords in MTN Trutalk promo

More lucky winners have emerged in the MTN Trutalk Best 11 Promo. At the final prize presentation ceremony held in Victoria Island, Lagos, at the weekend, some lucky winners were presented with gift of houses worth N15million each. Read More

Airtel, Ericsson extend partnership with LTE deployment in Gabon

Airtel Gabon has partnered with Ericsson for the deployment of next generation LTE technology and mobile network transformation.  Read More

Afmobi promises Nigerians jobs with offline platform

A team of experts at Afmobi Nigeria have designed a wireless platform that will create jobs or make Nigerians entrepreneurs through a plethora of fun apps, games, movie, music, pictures and business content hosted on a ‘magical fun box’ called Palmplay offline TM. Read More

The hospital of tomorrow uses mobile

Aruba Networks discusses how mobile technology is creating a radical shift in the future of healthcare. Read More

MNOs prefer paying fines to compliance, says NCC

The NCC has expressed disgust at the attitude of mobile network operators (MNOs) in Nigeria when it comes to compliance.    Read More

Safaricom announces new suite of data products

Safaricom has announced a suite of new data products that will offer its subscribers access to faster data more conveniently. Read More

African wireless to benefit from Fortinet’s Meru acquisition

Enterprises looking to boost their wireless network security, capacity and control are set to benefit from Fortinet’s pending acquisition of Meru Networks, says the Fortinet Africa team. Read More

BlackBerry makes $137m from software, technology licensing in 3 months

BlackBerry Limited this week reported its financial results for the three months ended May 3 this year, showing earnings of $137 million from software and technology licensing revenue. Read More

Broadband a GDP enabler: MainOne

Broadband has a key role to play as an enabler to increase employment and grow GDP, MainOne CEO Funke Opeke told the recent Commonwealth Broadband Forum held in Abuja. Read More

BICS reports explosion in LTE roaming

BICS, a global wholesale carrier for voice, mobile data and capacity services, says it has witness a rapid increase in LTE roaming traffic over its market-leading IPX network.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

Kenyan SACCOS riding on innovation to attract customersKenyan SACCOS riding on innovation to attract customers

As confidence in mainstream banks remains low due to prohibitive interest rates, customers are embracing Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) as an alternative.

IN DEPTH

As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.