Mobile Stats: Wait honey, “Why not shop on your phone?”

Mobile Stats: Wait honey, “Why not shop on your phone?”

Tablet, phone, and laptop

When have you ever heard a CIO say, “We need a nice phone interface for our tablet users!”

Never. Never.Never. Nobody wants an application designed for a phone displayed on a tablet. The tablet has more real estate. So why do I see so many people spouting mobile statistics, but forgetting to separate mobile between tablet and phone?

When you think of someone surfing the internet on a phone what do you envision? What does someone shopping on a phone look like? Where are they? What are they doing? What is the situation? Take a minute to envision this in your mind. These are all things to understand when designing an application and building your user personas.

Now take a minute to think about someone surfing the internet on a tablet and ask the same questions, where are they? What are they doing? What is the situation?

The visions are different. The situations are different. A different interface for the two are needed. So why do so few use mobile statistics and not separate phone from tablet? Do we not have the technology to separate the two?

Yes, we can distinguish between phone and tablet. That can only mean it is the marketing group that is behind this push of misleading statistics. Do they not realize the damage? Wait, it is the marketing crew that is selling mobile services, ah now I see. There is an ulterior motive in grouping them together. Keep telling people what you want them to believe. You need a mobile application if your company is going to survive into the future. Then back it up with mobile statistics that conveniently include both phones and tablets. You see, “27% of the people on the internet are using mobile. ”

But wait honey, “Why not shop on your phone?”

I have never seen my wife reach for her phone when she wants to shop on the internet, even though it is right beside her! She gets her tablet. I have never seen my kids push their laptop aside and reach for their phone, even though it is right there next to them, when they want to surf the internet.

When do people shop on their phone?

  1. When they are at work
  2. When they do not have an internet connection for their tablet
  3. When it is the only option

Shopping on a phone is a last resort.

Thank you Danyl Bosomworth for including some stats that separate phones from tablets .

Q4 of 2013: 26.79% mobile

  • 14.58% tablet
  • 12.21% smartphone

Mobile interfaces are different. If you tell people they need a mobile application and then back it up with 26.79% are mobile, then you are misleading people. It is not a single mobile application that is needed, but rather a mobile strategy. Design for a phone and design for a tablet are different. It is not one solution, but two and the associated costs that accompany them. Business needs a strategy that includes both phones and tablets. A strategy that includes statistics on both so decisions based on accurate numbers can be made.

If people want to keep spouting mobile statistics without separating the two, it is misleading, but perhaps I should be grateful. After all, I am in mobile applications development.

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