Tablets are dead for browsing?

I run analytics on about 30 of my client sites. Some of these are pure B2C, some pure B2B, some a mixture.

On average, 6.5% of traffic to B2C sites is tablet, for B2B it’s 1.1%, the sites for consumers and business range somewhere between those two.

With such low tablet use for surfing, this begs the question, is it worth bothering with a breakpoint for tablets? Or even considering their use at all?

Anecdotally I’m surprised. I know plenty of people over 60 who - when their last computer died - simply replaced it with a tablet and that’s now all they use.


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I was very surprised too, I know loads of people have them, but I wonder if they are mostly used for consuming content (streaming etc.) rather than browsing?

I see same stats here:

Those stats throw up a really interest issue, in that, insofar as my stats are concerned, they seem to reflect B2B site, not B2C.

On B2C sites I see tablet below 2% with desktop and mobile evening split. For me it’s a very different picture on B2C sites (arguable the bulk of websites). I see higher (marginally) tablet use but far more mobile; Desktop use is low: 34% average, mobile high: 62% average.

More interesting, although potentially obvious, is that B2C sites aimed at woman is up around the 90% mobile with B2C aimed at men (or which have a significantly larger male customer base) much lower around 60%.

I’m thinking this is down to less and less smaller consumer facing sites using analytics, in particular, Google. Hence, many of these reports are skewed.

It has to be taken into account that my clients tend to be micro businesses and sole traders, less than 10 employees and predominately “local”. Factors which themselves will skew my numbers.

I think you should ignore those results unless you have a very specific requirement and are forces into using those results.

You have no control over trends and therefore may be missing your target market because something has changed such as when Huawei release an iPad killer for $49. Who knows what will happen.

I think the best approach is to properly build your pages to work on every screen size. There really is no excuse these days to not be able to do this.

Also RW8 users need to properly test their sites by dragging teh sides of their Preview window instead of relying on what RM call an iPhone.

You can usually instantly spot an RW8 site by viewing it in an iPhone6 (375px) or iPhone4 (320px). Developers sites are often the worst:)

Bear in mind that the user agent for iPadOS is now exactly the same as that for macOS Catalina so I don’t know how anyone can provide meaningful figures of iPad usage at the present time. They all get recorded as desktops.


Feck, didn’t know that, and you’re right, it makes all stats nonsense.

One thought, though — has anyone ever used a tablet for browsing in ‘portrait’ mode? (Or, for that matter, in one of the split-screen options Safari’s ‘Responsive Design Mode’ insists on showing us when we turn tablets around?) My sense is that most people tend to look at the web in more or less screen-filling landscape browser windows on laptops and tablets, and in screen-filling portrait windows on mobiles. Those are really the only two options I consider in designing a site. (And what those who still have gigantic desktop monitors do is anybody’s guess.)

Business to Consumer / Business to Business

I see this all the time.

Well stated.

That’s interesting, I hadn’t thought about how I use my iPad when I browse, but I have just realised that I use both my iPad Pro and My iPad mini in portrait mode and get cross when sites serve up mobile versions of sites to me…

I’m a little late to this, but I do most of my browsing in portrait mode. The tablet is easier to hold that way, and you can generally se more of a website’s content.