May 12, 2010, 5:29 PM
Blogger

Is the iPad truly mobile?

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Topics: iPad, mobile device

The answer, in my humble opinion, is no. It is no more mobile than a laptop or even a netbook. If a device can’t fit in your pocket, or non-excessively huge purse, then it’s not mobile. Mobile means 24/7—anytime, anywhere. And you just can’t have an iPad with you like you can an iPhone or other truly mobile device.

The iPad is in the category known as tablet PCs. They are akin to netbooks in that they offer less functionality than a full-on laptop. They are different from netbooks and laptops in their interface, which is typically touchscreen sans a hard keyboard. Tablets are not mobile devices, they are a form of PC. Yes, you can create an app for an iPad. But that’s simply an optimized software experience for the hardware. People create applications for PCs every day, and you certainly can’t fit a PC in your pocket. What’s more, you can shop a standard e-commerce site on an iPad with ease—the screen size of the iPad is barely different than that of basic laptops.

You may be wondering why all the fuss. Well, I track mobile commerce on a day-to-day basis, and the majority of people selling, creating apps for and using iPads insist the iPad is a mobile device. If that’s the case, then activity and sales via the iPad must be considered m-commerce. If it’s not a mobile device, then activity and sales via the iPad are e-commerce. So what’s a mobile researcher and writer to do?

Well, there just isn’t an easy answer yet. So I’m going to watch how consumers use iPad apps, and how they browse and shop e-commerce sites on the device. (Keep an eye on your web logs to measure iPad traffic—and conversion.) And as the mobile commerce channel continues to evolve, we’ll see where retailers attribute sales stemming from the iPad. Hopefully not to m-commerce—because I really dislike when the meaning of words, in this case mobile, are altered to fit the desires of marketers. (Don’t get me started on “marketing-speak.”)

If you believe the iPad is truly a mobile device, I would love to hear your argument. You’ve got all the space you like below. Bring it on.

Comments | 1 Response

  • ipad got so many problems,but still can't stop people buying. Why? I guess just outlooking attract many,and some Personalize setting make you more comfortable. Specially,it never similar with any others,so if you are conditioned to use Apple stuff,you are in. http://www.videotoipads.com/

Sign In to Make a Comment

Comments are moderated by Internet Retailer and can be removed.

Not a member? Signup for free today!

Recent Posts from this Blog

FPO

Jason Squardo / Mobile Commerce

Five tips for achieving high mobile search rankings

Searches on mobile devices will soon exceed those on computers, Google says. Retailers that keep ...

FPO

Gregory Kennedy / Mobile Commerce

Recommendations for creating compelling mobile ads

All advertising must be compelling to work. And in the constrained environment of a mobile ...

FPO

Jim Erickson / E-Commerce

The battle for dominance of China's Internet econony

Why are two Chinese heavyweights, Alibaba and Tencent, spending millions subsidizing cab fares? The taxi-hailing ...

FPO

Ralph Dangelmaier / Mobile Commerce

The forgotten problem in mobile shopping carts: payments

Conversion rates fell on mobile devices, while increasing on desktops during the last holiday season. ...

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement