A couple of years ago, before the tablet market really started to take off; a topic like this probably would have never seen the light of day. After all, our smartphones are so advanced that the idea of “needing” something else, another device instead of the smartphone itself, is ludicrous for some to think about. But, in today’s world, our smartphones are getting bigger and bigger; in fact, for some devices out there, there’s only an inch of a difference between the “smartphone” and “tablet.” So, as our phones get bigger, will a company find a way to actually make it possible for tablets to replace our smartphones on a wide scale?
After all, there are probably a few people out there, or maybe even more than a few, who have already given up their smartphone in favor of the larger tablet device. But, it doesn’t look like the tablet market is in any position to completely dismount the smartphone market in its current position, as the tablet is seen as a companion device, and almost nothing more. In fact, the argument about whether or not a tablet can replace a PC is debated more than this topic at hand, which makes sense for those who want to be able to do everything they can on a tablet that they already can from their PC. But, at least in the case of most tablets out there, you can already do everything on that slate that you can on your smartphone – if not more things, depending on the tablet and smartphone comparison.
So, the argument that we’re waiting for a tablet that can do everything our smartphones can do may not be a big one. Unless, of course, we’re talking about phone calls. Yes, there are ways to make calls from your tablet with the use of third party applications, but for the most part making a phone call on a tablet device isn’t what people consider doing. Maybe no one wants to hold a tablet to their face, or maybe it’s because using a VoIP service to make calls just doesn’t make sense to some people. Especially those who hold their cell phone number dear to them.
Or it could be that some features just haven’t taken off, even if phone manufacturers are trying to push it. I’m talking about voice calls. After all, the front facing camera is starting to become a ubiquitous feature on most high-end smartphones, and everyone expects to find one on a tablet these days. Perhaps if voice calling would really, really take off then a tablet could become more of a permanent device in a person’s life. Even so much so, that removing the smartphone from its permanent position in their pocket would be a good idea.
I think it comes down to the fact that manufacturers are purposely positioning tablets as a companion device. Despite all the functionality they can shove into it, those same tablet manufacturers are also smartphone manufacturers (more often than not), and so they want you to buy the smartphone and the tablet, not just one. In fact, companies like Research In Motion have limited the ability of their tablet device so that owning a BlackBerry smartphone not only makes sense, but can actually be essential for functionality.
So perhaps the big question is: will manufacturers ever want the tablet device to replace the smartphone? Are you someone who wouldn’t mind using a tablet instead of a smartphone every day? Or are tablets unneeded, thanks to our smartphones? Let me know in the comments below what you think.