A combination of data caps and higher retail prices will significantly hurt demand for tablets equipped with 4G LTE connectivity over the next few years, according to the latest report from research firm CCS Insight. As reported by FierceWireless, the firm found that the share of tablets shipped with cellular-based connectivity will slip to just 37% by 2016, down from 48% in 2011. The reason for this is clear: People want to be able to consume large amounts of data on their tablets without incurring pesky overage fees and thus prefer Wi-Fi for their tablet connections.
“Most users do not regard cellular connectivity in tablets as a must-have, especially given the current price of tablets and mobile data subscriptions,” writes CCS Insight. “In the future, the share of cellular-enabled tablets will be determined by three factors: the availability and attractiveness of multi-device tariffs from mobile operators; the availability of public Wi-Fi networks; and the difference between the retail prices of cellular and Wi-Fi-only tablets.”