A new report from Forrester Research predicts that number will explode in the years ahead: its researchers say that there will be 375 million tablets sold by 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate of 46 percent, and that by 2016 there will be 760 million tablets in use overall.
That will still put tablets a ways behind PCs — there will be 2 billion PCs in use in 2016. But combined with new products like frames (essentially docks for tablets to amp up their functionality), Forrester says that tablets will gradually become the computing device of choice among consumers — especially among those in emerging markets, whose first home computing device will more likely be a tablet than a desktop or laptop PC.
Apple, which effectively created the tablet market with the launch of its iPad two years ago, and has been setting the bar for what to make ever since, has seen some reduction in its tablet market share over the last year or two as more competitors have launched products.
We’ve entered into a new era in how we interact with our customers. It’s no longer enough that a strong marketing initiative will turn consumers into customers. If brands want to stay relevant in the digital era, they have no choice but to adapt. Social media is more than media – it’s a cultural shift. While conventional wisdom holds that people don’t want businesses to encroach on their personal lives, that’s far from the truth. Many customers today are utilizing multiple outlets, not just Facebook and Twitter, to ask questions, give feedback and share and connect with others, and are personalizing their experiences whenever possible. 40% of consumers have become a fan of a product or service on social networks, 26% of consumers have followed a brand on Twitter, and 73% of consumers have posted a product or service review on websites like Amazon or Yelp. That’s why today 80% of small businesses are using social media to handle their marketing and sales.
But just being on social media isn’t enough. For businesses to digitally connect with today’s customer, they must not only stand for something but also do something. To have an impact, businesses have to find other ways to connect with customers to turn them from passive reactors to advocates. One of the significant drivers in social media for businesses is engagement – using digital media to connect with people, hear what they want, what they think, how a product or service worked or how it didn’t. Think about what resonates with your audience and whether or not you’re posting “clickworthy” and compelling content that will raise awareness and get attention. The other significant driver in social media is customer service. Many consumers following brands are also customers, which is why smart businesses are using helpdesk software to solve customer’s problems and answer questions instantly. Also, some businesses like Starbucks and American Airlines offer exclusive deals and tips to their digital audiences so they can drive awareness and sales.
The future of social media will offer many exciting, new opportunities for businesses to connect with their customers. That’s why today’s businesses must rethink their future strategies and shift most of their marketing efforts towards engaging with customers. No business is going to strike out by opening the lines of communication with its customers and marketing to them in a personal, caring way that makes them feel valued. Positive brand experiences creates customers, and experience not only matters to customers – it drives results to the bottom line.
Nokia Oyj will eliminate 4,000 jobs, including at its oldest factory in Finland, as the mobile-phone maker shifts manufacturing to Asia, its largest market.
The firings add to more than 10,000 job cuts Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop has announced since Nokia linked up with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) a year ago to fight a loss of smartphone market share to Apple Inc. (AAPL) Nokia’s first handsets based on Microsoft’s software, called Lumia, were assembled at a Compal Communications Inc. (8078) factory in Taiwan.
Apple, which introduced the iPhone in 2007, already assembles the smartphones in China. Nokia is building a plant in Vietnam to manufacture entry-level handsets and a site in Dongguan, China, makes about a third of all of the company’s output, according to Nokia’s website.
Nokia’s smartphone sales declined 25 percent to 77.3 million units last year as customers shunned the Symbian line. Nokia introduced Lumia handsets running Windows Phone six weeks before the end of the year and said on Jan. 26 that it had sold “well over” 1 million of the devices “to date.”
Nokia Siemens Networks, the wireless-equipment venture with Siemens AG (SIE), announced 17,000 job cuts on Nov. 23 as it narrows its product lines in an effort to become profitable.