A new study brings credence to the notion that tablet owners don’t want to pay for a monthly contract in addition to their device, as Wi-Fi tablets are dramatically outselling those with a carrier data connection.
According to NPD Group, consumers don’t want to get involved with subsidies and extra contracts as a fundamental matter, with price sensitivity being a driving factor in a potential tablet customer’s outlook. The study found that in April 2011, 60 percent of tablet users only connected via Wi-Fi, yet 5 percent said they planned on purchasing a data connection within the next six months. However, six months later, the Wi-Fi-only connection base has grown to 65 percent of tablet users.
With such tablets like the 4G LTE-enabled 8.2-inch Droid Xyboard, which costs $430 for the 16GB model, customers end up paying almost $1,150 over the course of a two year agreement, even with the cheapest data plan from Verizon.
NPD neglected to discuss, though, that the overwhelming majority of tablet owners use their devices primarily at home or other locations with a Wi-Fi connection. Perhaps, if tablets become more like smartphones, which people use constantly on-the-go, then there could be a more fruitful market for tablets on contract.