3G Tablets fall from favor say researchers

Integrated data connections in tablets along with mobile hotspot connected slates are falling from favor, new research suggests, with WiFi-only use proliferating among owners of iPads and other models. While 60-percent of tablet owners used WiFi only and 5-percent reported some intent of subscribing to a mobile broadband plan within the next six months back in Apri, NPD Group discovered, cellular use has actually shrunk in intervening period.

In fact, WiFi-only use is now up to 65-percent, indicating tableteers are sticking to WiFi hotspots and avoiding cellular data plans. "Concern over the high cost of cellular data plans is certainly an issue," NPD's Eddie Hold says, "but more consumers are finding that Wi-Fi is available in the majority of locations where they use their tablets, providing them 'good enough' connectivity."

Hold told SlashGear that NPD had 3,300 participants in the survey, with a mixture of WiFi-only and WiFi + 3G tablets owned.. "But even Wi-Fi only tablets could be connected through smartphone-hotspot or Mi-Fi options" Hold pointed out to us.

"In addition," the survey concluded, "the vast majority of tablet users already own a smartphone, which fulfills the 'must have' connectivity need." That sentiment seems, in part at least, to be increasingly echoed by manufacturers producing tablets. ASUS, for instance, confirmed earlier this month that it had no plans to produce a 3G/UMTS version of the Transformer Prime, citing low customer response to the variant.

[via PC World]