Enterprising Developments

Mobile Devices, Tablets, Laptops, PCs – Is There Really a Difference?

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, November 28, 2011

INN editor Pat Speer recently reported on FirstBest's survey of insurance executives and agents, which found that most want mobile devices to keep them linked on a 24-7 basis.

The survey finds that most respondents prefer smartphones, iPads or tablets—versus laptops or PCs—to keep them connected. Is a paradigm shift taking place?

First, we have to acknowledge the genius (not just Steve Jobs, but many others) behind Apple's product design and marketing in recent years. A decade ago, Apple and the Mac were given up for dead.

But we also have to ask, what is the difference between a mobile device and a traditional PC (laptops included)? It's actually not an easy question. The lines are getting blurrier all the time.

I put the same question to some Microsoft folks who were discussing their company's mobile analytics offerings at a recent conference, which include capabilities that could track and analyze the types of mobile channels customers were using to peruse and buy products and services. What's the difference when someone accesses a service via a remote laptop using the Web, versus a tablet computer or smartphone? Are they considered separate categories? That's a subject of great internal debate, they admitted.

The iPad is essentially a larger iPhone in many ways. They use the same operating system, just as Android devices do. Tablet computers are essentially laptops without the clam shell and keyboard.

What's the difference between a smartphone with monitor and USB keyboard attached, versus a small PC?

A handheld device isn’t practical for everything – you wouldn't want to write a white paper on a smartphone. In a customer call center, it's better to have a big screen representatives can use – you wouldn't want them trying to squint at smartphones screens eight hours a day.

Ultimately, the only difference may be in how small you want to go.

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

It’s Okay to Take a Breather from the Technology Maelstrom

Even in technology, good things may take time.

Customers for Life

Insurers once had a monopoly on lifetime customers, but technology has changed the game.

Smarter Tablet Use Could Transform Insurance

By reducing administrative tasks and automating paperwork, tablets can increase agentsí selling time and help them respond to customers in seconds, not hours.

Insurance Wake-Up Call: Embrace the Shared Economy Opportunities

SMA believes that insurers must embrace a "shared economy," crowdsourcing and open innovation to get ahead in the new marketplace.

The Lion and the Mouse: Start-ups Pitch to Top Insurer

Insurers should be on the lookout for innovative partnership arrangements that produce unique and valuable solutions.

Silicon Valley Ventures

A trip to area hotbed of technological innovation calls into question the potential viability of insurers' legacy systems, operations and processes.