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Smartphones vs. Tablets: An Analysis

Feb 19, 2017



  • S M A R T P H O N E S V S . TA B L E T SA N A N A LY S I S

    B Y B I L LY S C H W A R T Z F I L M 2 6 0

  • Smartphones and tablets are radically transforming how we access our shared knowledge sources by keeping us constantly connected to

    near-infinite volumes of raw data and information. (8)

  • O W N E R S H I P O N T H E R I S E ?

    Smartphone ownership in Canada increased from 62% in 2013 to 66% in 2014 (4)

    Tablet ownership increased from 39% in 2013 to 49% in 2014 (4)

  • However, in a 2016 report from GlobalWebIndex, for the first time ever, fewer people are using tablets today than were using them a year

    ago, and 16-to-24-year-olds are barely using them at all. (3) WHY?

  • The launch of the iPad after the iPhone meant tablets landed in a funny place in the history of smart, touch-screen devices. Jan Dawson, chief

    analyst at Jackdaw Research (3)

  • The tablets older, smaller cousin has quietly started doing all of the tablets jobs an in some cases, the smartphone is just flat-out

    better. Ben Taylor, PCWorld (9)

    Esther Vargas, Tablet

  • Although they have all the same factors for them to be classified as mobile devices, we tend not to see tablets in the same way as we

    regard smartphones. (6)

    Christian Hornick, Smartphone

  • As much as we would like to equate them as both being mobile devices, tablets and smartphones are not interchangeable. They

    simply fill different functions. (6)

  • C O N N E C T I O N V S . B R O W S I N G M O D E

    Smartphones and tablets activate different mindsets. Research argues that users are in connection mode while using

    smartphones, and in passive browsing mode while on their tablets. (6)

    Matthew Montgomery, Connections

  • 16-24s are most likely to identify [smartphones] as their most important device but tablets come out ahead of smartphones in just two areas:

    playing games and watching Netflix. (3)

  • Users have a narrower rang

    e of activities on tablets tha

    n on smartphones. Tablet us


    centres on a few popular ap

    ps like Netflix, Kindle, and Y

    ouTube. (1)

  • W H Y D O W E O U R S M A R T P H O N E S ?

    They are


    to get us

    to check t

    hem repe


    new ema

    ils, text m






    t the day,


    us to cons

    tantly pu

    ll the

    device ou

    t of our po

    cket. (6)

  • Checking the screens of our devices for push notifications quickly turns from behaviour to habit by nature of its routine. (6)

  • Today only 10% of the time spent on mobile is spent in the browser. The rest of the time, 90%, is spent on apps. (5)

  • We use apps to meet our communication, entertainment, and information needs. Prominent apps include Facebook, Google,

    Amazon, Netflix and YouTube. (5)

  • Within messaging and social apps, the majority of time is actually spent consuming media, such as videos on Tumblr and Facebook or stories on

    Snapchat. (5)

  • It is interesting to note that almost every type of app is more likely to be accessed through a smartphone than through a tablet. (1)

  • F O R M FA C T O R

    Research found that users of news sites on smartphones required a more efficient use of space and expected to do less typing and clicking than

    when using larger screens (7)

    One may also argue that a 6-inch screen is the ideal size for reading (9)

  • Tablets are not used in connection mode, but rather in browsing mode; watching videos, reading books, playing games etc. (6)

  • Therefore, the essential response of connection and community that our

    smartphones offer to us is simply not as present. (6)

  • W H E R E A R E S M A R T P H O N E S A N D TA B L E T S U S E D ?

    While tablets are mostly regarded as in-home devices (used for email, playing games, looking up information, online shopping,

    watching videos, etc.), smartphones are also used very frequently in a home setting. (7)

  • Studies have found that smartphones are most likely to be used in the bedroom for communication purposes, while tablets are used

    mostly in the living room for consumption activities. (7)

  • But smartphones are also used outside the home, in places such as

    at work or in the car. (7)

  • Tablets are portable, while smartphones are pocketable. So

    tablets are mostly used in the living room, while smartphones are used within the home and also on the

    go. Thomas Husson, VP principal analyst, Forrester

    Research (2)

  • W O R K S C I T E D

    (1) Dvorak, Nicole. Smartphones Boast Breadth While Tablets Engage. Forrester Blogs. N.p., 24 July 2014. Web.

    01 June 2016. (2) Etter, Sarah. Smartphones vs. Tablets: Forrester Reveals the Differences. Monetate. N.p., 2013. Web. 01 June

    2016. (3) Gilbert, David. The Tablet Is Dead: Usage Declines For First Time As Teenagers Stick With Smartphones.

    International Business Times. N.p., 01 Jan. 2016. Web. 01 June 2016. (4) Smartphone and Tablet Ownership on the Rise. Government of Canada, Canadian Radio-television and

    Telecommunications Commission. N.p., 27 Oct. 2015. Web. 01 June 2016. (5) Khalaf, Simon. Seven Years Into The Mobile Revolution: Content Is King Again. Flurry Insights Blog. N.p., 26

    Aug. 2015. Web. 01 June 2016. (6) Margalit, Liraz. Why We're Addicted To Our Smartphones, But Not Our Tablets. Smashing Magazine. N.p., 04

    Nov. 2015. Web. 30 May 2016. (7) Mller, Hendrik, Jennifer L. Gove, John S. Webb, and Aaron Cheang. Understanding and Comparing

    Smartphone and Tablet Use. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Australian Special Interest Group for Computer Human Interaction on - OzCHI '15 (2015): n. pag. Web.

    (8) Sergio, Fabio. 10 Ways That Mobile Learning Will Revolutionize Education. Co.Design. N.p., 31 May 2012. Web. 03 June 2016.

    (9) Taylor, Ben. 5 Ways the Smartphone Is Conquering the Tablet. PCWorld. N.p., 26 Feb. 2015. Web. 01 June 2016.

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