In 2010, Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, but tablets had been around before that. The first commercially available "tablet computer" was the GRiDPad, according to Wikipedia. It went on sale back in 1989. Since then, tablets have evolved. It's almost surprising that the devices weren't widely consumed before the first iPad became available, but if anybody could make the tablet a household device, it was Steve Jobs.
Tablets have changed a lot since 1989 in terms of their hardware, their software, and in terms of their popularity. Today, we use them for work and for play. Apps and accessories make our lives incredibly convenient. Tablets can replace laptop computers, in many cases. That's a reason why we're expected to start buying more of them than laptops sometime this year.
Perhaps the first e-commerce business to notice this trend and take action was Flipkart, India's Amazon.com. Michael Adnani, vice president of retail and head of brand alliances, says that their mobile traffic has increased tenfold in 18 months and that the rate of transactions on mobile devices is much higher than it is on PCs. Boston Consulting Group says that more then 580 million people will use the internet in India by 2018, 70-80% of them accessing the web on mobile phones. Flipkart already has a strong user base in small towns, which are not likely to have broadband internet available to them in the near future. The increasing affordability and connectivity of mobile phones is something that will strengthen the bond between Flipkart and its many users who do not reside in large cities. As a result, Flipkart has decided to offer its app, but no website. The site will be shut down in May, according to the Times of India.
Flipkart purchased the fashion e-commerce shop Myntra.com last year. They plan to do away with Myntra's website as well, in favor of the app.