Twenty years ago, smartphones didn’t exist. Since then, a lot of things have changed. Now most of us can’t even remember the last time we actually didn’t use our smartphones on a daily basis. Mobile devices and the Internet are changing the way we do things and how we connect with other people.
Mobile Device Usage
Today, 78% of U.S. adults who use Internet have smartphones. This number is forecasted to surpass 85.5% in 2019. On the other hand, tablet ownership has edged up to 62.7% in 2016 and according to eMarketer, will reach 65.3% in 2019. As more people adopt mobile devices, marketers are eager to put their content on these platforms. In doing so, it’s important to recognize that one mobile strategy will not fit all devices.
Smartphone vs. Tablet
Smartphones and tablets are similar in many ways. Both have touchscreens, apps, and in most cases they even run the same operating systems (iOS or Android). But there are clear differences between the two devices and in the way that users interact with them.
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. Smartphones are also the most personal devices we use, while tablets are often shared with spouses, partners, or children. The Forrester Research usage diagrams provide more clarity into when and where smartphones and tablets are used.As you can see, while users largely use tablets for “lazy internet” - media and content and browsing - they tend to prefer smartphones primarily for communication, content snacking, and mobile apps usage.
Most marketers are still lumping smartphones and tablets into the same mobile bucket. However, marketers should work to deliver device-specific experiences to target users in order to maximize the likelihood that they will install the app, like the user experience, and become high LTV users who make in-app purchases.
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