Analyst: 3G Tablet Sales Are a Bust

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In this current tablet craze, companies are fiercely competing to produce the best product. However, those offering 3G cellular-equipped tablets face a loss, according to an IDG analyst. 

“Sales of 3G tablets have been very slow,” Bob O’Donnell, an IDG analyst said, as first reported on Computerworld. Basing his judgment on several interviews with large tablet makers, such as Motorola and Samsung, O’Donnell believes consumers don’t want to pay wireless carriers for another data plan in addition to their smartphones. 

As a result thousands of 3G tablets sit in inventory, while their Wi-Fi counterparts are being purchased at a more rapid rate. People tend to use tablets more like computers, sitting in one spot accessing Wi-Fi, rather than moving around as they would with a smartphone, according to O’Donnell. 

To combat this loss, U.S. carriers will need to change their pricing for data and combine these plans to cover a group of devices instead of just one. O’Donnell predicts carriers will do so this fall. 

An executive at Verizon Wireless said in May that the carrier was considering a shared data plan for families, where data from smartphones or tablets would be combined, however Verizon has yet to comment further since this announcement. Though on July 7, the carrier stopped offering unlimited data plans for new smartphone customers. 

“People want the equivalent of a mobile router, with one data plan to use across several devices,” O’Donnell said. “It has to be a reasonable price point. Why should the carriers care where I use my bits?”

 


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