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The importance of mobile in 2014

Cellphone and tablet sales are expected to skyrocket this year. Is your online presence strong enough?

Jim Kerr is Alberta Venture's web editor. Get in touch with him at jkerr@albertaventure.com.

Dec 12, 2013

by Jim Kerr

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If the experts are correct in their predictions for the coming year, your company’s online presence is about to become that much more important.

IDC Canada is predicting global cellphone and tablet ownership will overtake the number of desktop and laptop computers in 2014. The Canadian Press quotes the company’s vice-president, Tony Olvet, as saying, “We see multiple devices rather than one single device becoming the norm in business and also at home.”

What that means for you is that with each passing day, the likelihood of a potential customer trying to access your website from a mobile device is increasing.

When they click onto your homepage, what do they see?

IDC predicts the response from companies that make PCs will be to build them with features that are common in mobile devices, such as adding touchscreen capability. The research firm expects shipments of touch-enabled PCs to jump from 3.7 per cent of PCs sold in the first quarter of last year to about 24 per cent by the end of 2014.

But wait, there’s more!

Perhaps your company website is heavy on multimedia and you’re finding that mobile visitors just aren’t interacting with your content the way desktop visitors do.

Deloitte Canada is predicting that will change in 2014 as well.

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Deloitte’s Duncan Stewart says smartphone users don’t watch a lot of video or play many higher end games because the “standard” smartphone doesn’t have a very big screen, but the behavior changes when the screen size is increased.

Enter: The “Phablet.”

Oversized smartphones are nothing new, but it seems the “part tablet, part smartphone” devices are gaining momentum as we head into 2014. With an average screen size of five inches (one more than the iPhone) and some as big as 6.3 inches, the user ends up getting the best of both worlds (but looking a bit silly if they have to make an actual phone call).

Deloitte expects “phablets” to make up a quarter of all smartphone sales next year (300 million sold worldwide) and to account for 10 to 15 per cent of the Canadian smartphone market.

What does that mean for you?

As tech companies continue to blur the lines between the various types of smart devices – cellphones the size of tablets, tablets with removable keyboards to mimic laptops, laptops that are smaller and more lightweight to mimic tablets – it’s becoming increasingly important that you’re ready for whoever may be searching for you, wherever they happen to be coming from.

So, are you ready?

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