Monday, August 20, 2012

Consumers Not So Hot on Network Connected Tablets, Apparently

According to Engadget, AT&T has ended its subsidies for tablets sold with mobile data plans. You can make your own decisions about why the program is ending, but there might be a parallel with the earlier carrier experiments with subsidized netbooks. 

You might argue the value-price relationship is not perceived as adequate. You might argue that with pervasive Wi-Fi, people don't quite so often "need" a network-provided data plan. You might argue people prefer devices other than the ones AT&T had been offering. 

You can argue all of those could be reasons for lukewarm customer interest. You might also argue that AT&T doesn't want to incur the financing cost. 

Whatever your choice of reasons, there still does not seem to be a big move by consumers to pay for tablet mobile connections, even though some predict that will happen. Wi-Fi-only devices typically outsell units equipped for 3G access, for example. 

The ratio of Wi-Fi-only tablets tablet sales with carrier network connections, for example, is highly skewed to Wi-Fi-only devices. 

Screen Shot 2012-08-13 at 8.03.43 PM
Consumers appear to avoid getting tablet mobile service plans, preferring to run tablets on Wi-Fi networks. 
With nearly 50 million tablets in the U.S. market, carrier-networked devices constitute roughly eight percent of the total. 

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