How important are iPads and other tablets to mobile carriers worldwide compared to mobile broadband devices? According to a new study, they’re becoming a critical part of the mobile business. That’s pretty impressive when you consider that before the iPad’s launch two years ago, tablets were a rarity in mobile carrier stores. Today, thanks largely to the iPad, tablets make up 40% of mobile broadband offerings.
Strategy Analytics, a technology research firm, recently looked at the impact that the iPad and other tablets have had on mobile broadband markets.
The company’s Mobile Broadband Price Benchmarking Service examined data across 113 carriers in 33 countries and determined that 40% of all mobile broadband plans are now tablet-specific. Given that the range of mobile broadband devices includes smartphones, mobile hotspot devices, USB broadband devices, and laptops – each with its own set of associated plans – 40% is a pretty significant number.
The report also notes that most carriers surveyed are still in the early stages of 4G/LTE adoption – meaning that tablets may make up an even stronger percentage of plans going forward.
“Offering tablet plans and devices is a key part of mobile operator strategy”, noted Pawel Kmiec who authored the report.
While the report didn’t study the iPad directly it note that the new iPad is becoming a standard part of most carrier’s mix of devices. It also noted that the Galaxy Tab is seeing a resurgence of interest after being blocked in some markets and that carrier-branded tablets are becoming less common as manufacturers follow Apple’s lead in not allowing branding on its devices.