Over the weekend, dismal news emerged about tablet sales. Apple reported iPad sales dropped by 1/6 year-over-year. Microsoft Surface sales declined 40% and Amazon Kindle sales reportedly gained no additional market share from the previous year. The slowdown has been partially attributed to tablet saturation; 40% of the U.S. population owns a device, which makes it even more surprising that many brands have yet to nail their tablet experience.
L2’s Intelligence Report: Mobile & Tablet, released last week, shows one in seven brand tablet experiences fail due to usability issues and broken elements. For example, 14% have broken site elements, and only 12% adjust image size. As far as differentiating the tablet experience, only 10% of brands have swipe support and just 7% have a fluid grid. An astonishing 90% use an unmodified version of their desktop site for the tablet.
While not as ubiquitous as smartphones, tablets boast a conversion rate 2.7x as high. Furthermore, those who use a tablet device while watching television are 1.5x more likely than smartphone users watching television to buy an advertised item. (Tablet use is highest during the hours of 6pm to 11pm, providing a “sofa opportunity” for brands.)
Many analysts (and Apple CEO Tim Cook) have predicted tablet ownership to surpass PC as newer models become more capable. Even if that future is too distant, the current tablet opportunity is large enough to justify the investment.