Mobile devices are for personal connection and tablets are for exploring
Today, smartphones have become the most personal way we connect socially. Your Facebook, GPS, Twitter, and email accounts (just to name a few) are all connected to each other on your mobile device. This makes your smartphone the primary way you connect personally with friends and colleagues when you're on the go.
In contrast, tablets do not have as many seamlessly interconnected platforms. People use tablets for exploring and content grazing. Users are not taking pictures or recording video on tablets like they are on their smartphones. We don't entrust our personal information to a tablet like we do our mobile devices.
The motivation for using a mobile device and a tablet are completely different
Your mobile device is your most loved and cherished piece of technology. When you pick it up, it's as if you're picking up an extension of yourself. People don't see themselves as using a computer when they use their mobile device -- they see themselves as living their lives. That's how intertwined the mobile device has become in our world. However, when people pick up a tablet they are very aware they are on a computer. It is not a seamless extension of daily life.
Kelly Jones, head of thought leadership for Microsoft Advertising, speaks to iMedia about why mobile devices and tablets are completely different beasts.
You share your tablet
Would you let a stranger use your smartphone? Most people wouldn't. In fact, mobile devices are so private that even families do not share them. What are families sharing? Tablets. Many families have multiple tablets that everyone uses. Older tablets go to the kids and newer ones go to the adults. Children and parents gather around tablets to share a content experience. This does not happen on mobile devices.
Your tablet does not travel with you
The definition of mobile is "able to move freely." Do you carry around your tablet with you everywhere? No, but everyone carries their smartphones. Tablets are as "mobile" as laptops. Many consumers look at tablets as simply smaller and more portable laptops, but they certainly don't carry them at all times.
In conclusion, the tablet came out so fast and got popular so quickly that the tech world did not know how to label it. They quickly threw it in with mobile devices and the association has simply stuck. It's time to put these devices in their own category.
Kelly Jones ends our conversation with some very important advice for marketers.
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