wireless towerBuilding cellular connectivity into tablets is proving to be very popular among tablet users in the U.S. Totaling 18.3 million, the number of actively connected tablets in the U.S. shot up 90 percent year-over-year as of year-end 2014, according to the NPD Group Connected Intelligence Mobile Broadband Market Share and Forecast Report.

Aggressive promotions, free giveaways, carrier subsidies and simpler service plans fueled the addition of over 8.7 million new cellular tablet customers in the U.S. last year, NPD highlights in a press release.

Cellular Tablet Activations
NPD sees growth in active cellular tablet subscriptions slowing significantly over the next two years, however. U.S. tablet activation growth will slow down to 30 percent in 2015 and 10 percent in 2016, NPD says.

Nonetheless, “cellular connected tablets will still continue to be an important factor in boosting active base for U.S. wireless carriers,” the market research company adds. “One of the major reasons we expect to see the cellular tablet connection growth slow down over the next couple of years is the cannibalization by larger smartphone screens,” NPD Director, Connected Intelligence Brad Akyuz was quoted as saying.

“As demand for smartphones boasting a large (5.0-inch plus) screen continues to increase, the value proposition of the tablet serving as a second screen diminishes. The new growth opportunities for the carriers will be in the wearables space as cellular embedded wearable devices are poised to be widely available by the end of 2016.”

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