Tablets Now the Device of Choice – Marketers Take Note: E-Commerce and Tablets Go Hand-In-Hand

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It’s official. Tablets have overtaken Smartphones as the device of choice.

Adobe’s Digital Index, released March 7, uncovered that, for the first time, global tablet traffic surpassed that of Smartphones. Tablets generate eight percent of all Internet traffic compared to Smartphones’ seven percent.

“We’ve been keep­ing a close eye on how quickly tablets have taken off,” wrote Adobe’s Digital Index manager and primary analyst Tyler White in a blog post.  “Just a year ago in Jan­u­ary we uncov­ered that vis­i­tors using tablets spend 54 percent more per online order than their coun­ter­parts on Smart­phones, and 19 percent more than desktop/laptop users.

“Now we know that not only is tablet traf­fic more valu­able in terms of e-com­merce and engage­ment, tablets have also become the pri­mary device for mobile browsing,” he added.

White said while Smartphones are the more common device, tablets are better for browsing and, on aver­age, Inter­net users view 70 percent more pages per visit when brows­ing with a tablet com­pared to a Smartphone.

tablets graph 2

The U.K. loves tablets

Smart­phone traf­fic in the U.K. is comparable to traffic in U.S. and Canada, but tablet use is much higher, espe­cially when com­pared to the rest of the world. Inter­net users in the U.K. are far more likely than those in France or Ger­many to browse via both tablets and Smart­phones. In Japan and China, how­ever, Smart­phones are the device of choice for Internet browsing.

“This is not sur­pris­ing given the Smart­phone capa­bil­i­ties that have existed in Japan for years and the high costs of tablets and high speed mobile access in China,” White said.

Although tablet use varies from region to region, traf­fic growth was con­sis­tent in 2012. Traf­fic from tablets dou­bled in all countries last year — a trend White said will con­tinue through 2013.

tablets graph 3

What does the rise of tablets mean for marketers?

“Con­sumers all over the world are try­ing out their tablets for the first time and it only takes one bad web­site expe­ri­ence for them to decide to go else­where,” White said, adding a Smart­phone opti­mized site is not the same as a tablet opti­mized site.

“Mar­keters should keep in mind that con­sumers use their var­i­ous mobile devices dif­fer­ently,” he said. “They might turn to their phone to check their bank state­ment or to stream music, but use their tablet to shop for a new couch. They want more per­son­al­ized expe­ri­ences. When they opt for their tablet they aren’t just price com­par­ing, they’re pur­chas­ing. They aren’t just watch­ing a video clip; they’re explor­ing and engag­ing with con­tent. They’ll be dis­ap­pointed if they’re not able to take advan­tage of the smooth touch inter­face and awe­some screen res­o­lu­tion of their new toy.”

Adobe’s Digital Index data revealed another trend: while Smartphones are get­ting big­ger, tablets are get­ting smaller. The newest tablets not only look like a larger Smart­phones, they now have the abil­ity to make phone calls as well.

“Mar­keters can’t rely on screen size any­more to deter­mine and deliver the most appro­pri­ate expe­ri­ence,” White said. “They’ll need to pay atten­tion to con­nec­tion type (Wi-Fi versus cel­lu­lar), and refer­ral source along with form fac­tor to pri­or­i­tize which options to offer the user.

“Think about it. Why do you choose to use your tablet instead of your phone if you have both? What dif­fer­ent expec­ta­tions do you have? Now apply that to your customer’s expe­ri­ence.”

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Tablets Now the Device of Choice

Billionaire Investor Threatens Dell Privatization Plan – Carl Icahn Demanding $15.7B Special Dividends Pay Out if Privatization Deal Voted Down

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Michael Dell’s plan to privatize Dell Inc. is on shaky ground as investor Carl Icahn demands a $15.7-billion special dividends pay out.

Billionaire Icahn is asking Dell to pay $9 a share in dividends, both from its own stockpile and by raising new debt, if the privatization deal is voted down.

Icahn, in a letter to the company’s board made public March 7, said Michael Dell’s and Silver Lake’s proposed $24.4-billion buyout “is not in the best interests of Dell shareholders and substantially undervalues the company.”

The letter also said only Michael Dell himself is benefiting from the proposed deal.

“Our proposal provides Dell shareholders with substantial cash of $9 per share and the ability to continue as owners of Dell, a stock that we expect to be worth approximately $13.81 per share following the dividend,” Icahn wrote. “We believe, as apparently does Michael Dell and his partner Silver Lake, that the future of Dell is bright. We see no reason that the future value of Dell should not accrue to ALL the existing Dell shareholders — not just Michael Dell.”

The special dividend of $9 per share Icahn is demanding would include $4.26 a share derived from $5.25 billion in new debt.

With the proforma “stub” valued at $13.81 a share, combined with the proposed $9 special dividend, Dell shareholders would have a total value of $22.81 per share — a 67 percent premium to the $13.65 per share price proposed by Michael Dell, the letter said.

If the board does not agree to adopt the proposal and privatization is voted down, Icahn is requesting a vote for a new board of directors.

“We then intend to run a slate of directors that, if elected, will implement our proposal for a leveraged recapitalization and $9 per share dividend at Dell,” the letter said.

“If you fail to agree promptly to combine the vote on the Going Private Transaction with the vote on the annual meeting, we anticipate years of litigation will follow challenging the transaction and the actions of those directors that participated in it.”

Ichan has even offered a $2-billion bridge loan courtesy of Icahn Enterprises as well as a personal $3.25-billion bridge loan to Dell, if necessary “to assure shareholders of the availability of sufficient funds for the prompt payment of the dividend, if our slate of directors is elected.”

Dell’s Special Committee issued the following statement after receiving Icahn’s letter March 5.

“The Special Committee is currently conducting a robust ‘go-shop’ process to determine if there are third parties interested in proposing alternative transactions that could be superior for Dell’s public shareholders to the going-private transaction — and we welcome Carl Icahn and all other interested parties to participate in that process. Evercore Partners, an independent financial advisor to the Special Committee, is actively soliciting third parties to determine their potential interest and is incentivized to find a superior proposal if one exists. The process will run through March 22, 2013, after which negotiations will continue if a potentially superior proposal emerges. Our goal is to secure the best result for Dell’s public shareholders — whether that is the announced transaction or an alternative.”

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Billionaire Investor Threatens Dell Privatization Plan

Technology News Briefs — March 8, 2013

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FTC Charges 29 People With Spamming

The U.S Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on affiliate marketers accused of inundating consumers with hundreds of millions of spam text messages in a bid to guide them to websites with the promise of non-existent “free” gift cards.

Twenty-nine people have been charged in connection with more than 180 million unwanted text messages being sent to consumers, many of whom had to pay for receiving the texts. Consumers were promised free gifts or prizes such as $1,000 gift cards to major retailers such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target. Recipients who clicked on the links were then caught up “in a confusing and elaborate process” that requested sensitive personal information to apply for credit or pay to subscribe to services to get the  “free” cards.

“Today’s announcement says ‘game over’ to the major league scam artists behind millions of spam texts,” Charles Harwood, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a blog post.  “The FTC is committed to rooting out this deception and stopping it.  For consumers who find spam texts on their phones, delete them, immediately. The offers are, in a word, garbage.”

The FTC is also going after those who operate the deceptive websites. The FTC is also pursuing a contempt action against “a serial text message spammer,” Phil Flora, who was barred in 2011 from sending spam text messages and who is accused of being part of this spam texting scheme.

Motorola to Cut Another 1,200 Positions

Motorola is set to slash another 1,200 jobs — more than 10 percent of its workforce — as the American handset maker struggles to regain a foothold in the cut-throat mobile market.

Workers received an e-mail from the company this week indicating “while we’re very optimistic about the new products in our pipeline, we still face challenges,” the Wall Street Journal is reporting. The company e-mail also said its “costs are too high, we’re operating in markets where we’re not competitive and we’re losing money.” The layoffs will affect employees in the U.S., China and India.

A Motorola spokesman told the WSJ the company is “committed to helping” the affected employees “through this difficult transition.”

The latest round of layoffs follows a 20 percent reduction in the company’s staff last August when 4,000 employees were let go.

Google-owned Motorola, as of the end of 2012, had 11,113 employees, not counting its Motorola Home division, which was sold to Arris Group in December for $2.36 billion.

Apple Marketing Chief Urges Android Users to ‘Be Safe’

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller is warning Android users via Twitter to “be safe out there” after a report released March 7 revealed the OS is the favorite target of cyber-criminals.

F-Secure Labs’ new report indicates Android malware is a growing problem, partly because of the growing popularity of the platform and partly due to a new strain of malware being spread through SMS.

“Android malware has been strengthening its position in the mobile threat scene,” the report reads. “In the fourth quarter alone, 96 new families and variants of Android threats were discovered, which almost doubles the number recorded in the previous quarter.”

Platforms such as Apple’s iOS, BlackBerry and Microsoft are also vulnerable, although to a lesser extent because they tend to be part of broad rather than focused attacks, the report revealed.

 

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Technology News Briefs — March 8, 2013