Almost everyone with a tablet, a laptop or a mobile phone has a near-constant concern in the back of their mind. "Will my battery last to the end of today?"
Battery life is crucial to us all, but not more than the Generation Y whose lifeblood runs through their veins. But the ability to replace batteries in our mobile devices could be more crucial than any other functionality our devices are capable of.
Younger users typically carry at least two electronic devices on their person on a daily basis: their mobile phone and their portable music player, more often than not an iPod. But as the lines become blurred between mobile phone and music player, with devices like the iPhone and BlackBerry handsets, battery life diminishes faster with typical use.
Micro-USB ports are now the standard universal phone charging in the EU, allowing devices from different manufacturers to share the same cable.
But tablet and mobile devices which do not allow the manual removal of batteries to replace annoy younger consumers. iPhones especially, and iPads, while popular with the younger demographics, require an Apple service center to replace batteries when they are wearing out.
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James Kendrick reported yesterday on the new Toshiba tablet which allows the battery to be manually replaced. Unlike the iPad this allows users to purchase new batteries for little overall cost, and for no labour costs.
But for a viable consumer option to appear in tablet or mobile device form, aside for Apple products, replacement batteries in products with a typically low battery life allow devices to be replenished by a simple battery swap.
It is rare to have a student, for example, with a spare BlackBerry battery in their back pocket as they go about their campus business. But that is because non-touch BlackBerrys like the Bold and the Curve have a better battery life compared to their Apple counterparts.
But arguably, the clientele that Apple caters for have the monetary capability to have batteries replaced at a cost in store, as Apple products are innately more expensive. Thus the reason why the tablet wars have kicked off, every other manufacturer is trying to compete with the iPad, offering Android as a free operating system to lower the costs to end consumers.
Tablets can only take off with the Generation Y consumer if they are cost effective and equal to functionality and power of netbooks, at very least. The iPad is, on the most part, besides the lack of manual battery replacement, but the cost still outweighs the benefits for netbooks with full keyboard capacity.