Tablets have played a major role in the mobile ecosystem ever since the Apple iPad was released in 2010. But as smartphone screens got larger, the public’s interest in tablets also shrank. And now that tablet sales have been diminishing in recent months, manufacturers are trying to figure out ways to re-spark consumer’s interest in them – namely by putting the technology on our wrists.
New Smartwatches are Actually Smart
If you’ve never used a smartwatch before, you’d be surprised at how useful they really are. While early models only performed simple functions like deliver notifications and store contact information, newer designs are capable of doing everything a smartphone or tablet can do – including making phone calls. Smartwatches are no longer codependent on another device; smartwatches are now smart on their own.
Take for example the new Samsung Gear S that was announced earlier today. With a 1GHz dual-core processer, 4GB of internal storage, and 3G connectivity; this smartwatch offers a truly connected experience on a convenient two-inch curved Super AMOLED display. It also looks like a “real” watch.
Samsung Gear S Features
- Communications: 2G, 3G, Bluetooth Calling, Contacts, Notifications, Messages, Emails, QWERTY Keyboard
- Health & Fitness: S Health, Nike+ Running
- Information: Schedule, News, Navigation, Weather
- Media: Music Player, Gallery
- Other: S Voice, Find My Device, Power Saving Mode
The Samsung Gear S takes smartwatch technology to the next level by incorporating 3G connectivity into a device you can’t even tell is electronic. As the first major manufacturer to do so, other companies will most likely be following suit in order to keep up. In fact, most smartphone and tablet makers are already incorporating smartwatches into their device lineup – but they’re not trying to keep up with the technology – yet.
Smartwatch Makers are Competing for Your Wrist and They’re Doing it in Style
Let’s be blunt: Smartwatches were kind of ugly when they were first released. Not only did they lack a lot of functionality, but they also looked like something out of a science-fiction movie. Consumers didn’t want them because, quite frankly, they weren’t cool.
But all that has changed.
Along with making smartwatches more useful, manufacturers have also made them more fashionable. The upcoming LG G Watch R and Moto 360 are just two examples of how high-tech can also be high-fashion.
One look at LG’s smartwatch advertising campaign and it’s clear that the company is promoting their device with a fashion-forward approach. This makes sense because people buy watches for the way they look, not necessarily for the way they function. By using this tactic, LG and other smartwatch manufacturers are banking on the idea that people care more about style than the way their device actually works.
And this is why people are finally starting to care about smartwatches.
Whether you want to admit it or not, our gadgets are fashion accessories. Better-looking smartwatches means more people will buy them. It also means you probably won’t be buying a tablet. At least not like the ones you’re used to.
Tablets are Getting Bigger, Much Bigger
One of the problems with tablets is that they’re not much different than smartphones. Unless you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network or pay extra for a data connection, you can’t do much with them. But just like smartwatches had to change to become popular, tablets are about to do the same thing. The only difference is that with tablets, manufacturers are not really concerned with fashion, but function.
There’s not a big change between a five-inch smartphone and a 7-inch tablet. But with Apple recently rumored to be increasing the screen size of the iPad to a whopping 12.9-inches, it’s a safe bet that all tablets will soon get the jumbo treatment. And it just may be enough to convince consumers to buy them again.
“Regular-sized” tablets don’t cut it anymore because smartphones are bigger, “phablets” are becoming the norm, and smartwatches are more convenient. But there is one market that will surely appreciate a bigger display on their tablet: gamers.
According to a recent report by Juniper Research, “tablet gaming will triple its sales revenue by the year 2019.” To put that claim in perspective, you have to realize that this year’s sales revenue is already hitting $3.6 billion. In just five short years, tablets will account for roughly $13.3 billion of the gaming industry.
There aren’t many gaming tablets on the market yet, but the few that exist are extremely popular. The Razer Edge Pro has been sold out on Newegg for several weeks and one look at the specs explains why: it’s as powerful as a laptop.
As tablets get bigger and come equipped with better hardware, they will definitely find their niche in the consumer electronics industry. And as smartwatches look better and become more independent of smartphones, they will probably replace tablets as our secondary mobile device. It all depends on what’s important to the consumer: fashion or function.
Smartwatches may not be directly influencing the tablet gaming revolution, but they are definitely helping the cause. And who knows? A smartwatch could be just the right-sized tablet for most people’s needs.
Do you think smartwatches are the new tablet? Do bigger tablets make smartwatches more useful? Will smartwatches make tablets the next great gaming platform? Let us know in the comments below!