Businesses across the world have one common understanding, it seems: tablets are the future. It's no surprise, in many ways; after several years of moderately unsuccessful projects, Apple did their usual trick of holding back until they had created pretty much what people wanted - at a price, of course. While it had its drawbacks - a lack of Flash integration, for example, it was a hit. The iPad has, to date, shipped 67 million units globally.
While this remains the holy grail of the tablet world, it's certainly far from the be-all and end-all of those available. The recent release of the Kindle Fire saw Amazon targeting the market with a cheaper alternative, while there are a large number of Android tablets from Misco and other providers that offer their own pros and cons - though with a little more freedom to do what you want when compared to Apple's offering. Some new approaches to tablets completely failed, like the HP TouchPad.
The thing is, it's not only a platform that businesses and consumers want to buy - it's also one that they want to profit from. Each week, a new report rolls through the door to explain just how viable tablets are for advertising or marketing purposes.
In early April, Viacom found that these adverts had a remarkable reach in the average home. Researching the places that these technological wonders have been used, it was found that nearly every room in the house, aside from the bathroom, has been sat in during tablet use by over half of their owners. Naturally, the living room and bedroom were used by 96 and 94 per cent of users respectively, which eMarketer said "bolster[ed] the idea that consumers used tablets primarily for fun or relaxation". Indeed, many people see shopping as fun and relaxing - and marketers certainly reflect this in their advertising.
Just last month, investment firm Accordant Media discovered that worldwide real-time bidding for banner and video ads on mobile platforms such as the iPad and Kindle Fire (among their contemporaries) grew by 120 per cent in Q1 2012. If that wasn't enough, the growth of tablet investment alone was 472 per cent in one quarter.
It's not even the big companies that are doing this - or simply able to justify the budget. Cargo and Inc Magazine, in a joint survey once again relayed by eMarketer, said that small and medium-sized organisations are trying their best to jump on the bandwagon, buying them for staff and therefore understanding their potential on both sides of their business. No fewer than 91 per cent of US small-business owners said wireless communications were integral to their operations; it will likely be the case that they'll be central to making money, too.
So, with prices dropping for entry-level tablets and even the newest iPad delivering real value for money for power users, the question is: if you haven't considered getting one, why not start thinking about it?