The age old debate of “does size matter” rages on only this time we are all talking tablets. Does the size of the tablet or the screen really make that much different to the user? Will it make or break a product? Or even a brand?

Let’s look at the breath of sizing out there- for months we have been hearing about the possibility of a larger Kindle Fire or a smaller iPad however the vast majority of tablets seem to fall into two camps the 7inch (Samsung and PlayBook) and the 10inch (iPad).

To my mind the 10-inch tablets are designed for mobile use but indoors, this would explain why the vast majority of iPad users buy the 3G version but only ever use the wifi option. Conversely the 7-inch tablets seem to be to be the truly “mobile” tablet designed to fit snugly in jeans or suit pocket while still be able to consume and read far more data than is possible on a smartphone.

So what if anything is the perfect size for a tablet? The answer to this is simple there isn’t one! What consumers and enterprises alike should ask themselves is what is the right tablet size for us??

Answering this question isn’t simple but I believe if you take your time and get it right your mobile strategy will be a success. Here are some factors that need to be taken into account when you decide which tablet or mobile device to give each of your mobile users or group of users;

  • How much data entry will the user need to do on the device?
  • Where will the device be used most? In customer meetings? On a train, in a car park?
  • Will weight play a factor, will the device be carried by the user a lot?
  • Is function or form more important? ie is the user likely to need an iPad to keep up with the Jones’s
  • What are the workflow and productivity needs of the user?
  • Will the user need to multi task on the device?

Ultimately, as I have said before, when it comes to mobility context is everything a smart mobility strategy practically thinks about when and how you are going to use the device and then selects the device which is best for each user. This of course may mean that you end up with PlayBook’s in the field, iPads in the boardroom and Samsungs in the factory.

This sort of segmentation brings with it the issue of developing applications which are relevant across platforms but as I have mentioned before this is an issue which is easily overcome by using a Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) which allows enterprises to develop the mobile applications once and deploy it to a variety of mobile devices (including smart phones, tablets, notebooks and ruggedised handhelds) with no changes to the underlying business logic and without having to rewrite the application for each operating system used.

This sort of solution frees enterprises to think about what suits them best rather than what they believe to be technically possible and achievable. To me, when it comes to mobile devices size really does matter and can be an important factor in the success or failure of any mobile strategy.