3G Tablets losing out to WiFi Tablets

Recently the NPD group reported that 65% of tablet users have a Wi-Fi tablet (as opposed to a cellular tablet). This couldn’t be music to the cellular carriers’ ears.

Here are some reasons why WiFi tablet Sales far outstrip Cellular Tablet sales:

  • The High Cost of cellular data plans & lock-in
  • Availability of Wi-Fi in the majority of locations where tablets are used, providing ‘good enough’ Internet access.
  • The vast majority of tablet users already own a smartphone, so one could use a Mobile Hotspot instead.
  • There are also many more tablets hitting the market that do not provide cellular connectivity, such as the Kindle Fire.

At the same time, AT&T reports that the majority of Tablet customers purchase a cellular tablet with 3G connectivity

source: NPD group

This is significant, given that AT&T apparently has 70% of the tablet market share among the top U.S. Wireless Carriers.

Source: NPD Group

However, all this means is that the carriers just haven’t figured out a way to effectively sell WiFi enabled tablets.
Then again, if you’re buying a Wi-Fi tablet, there’s hardly a reason to buy from a cellular carrier.