Technology has advanced rapidly in recent years…the typewriter, the word processor, the status update. Technology revolutionized the way people wrote and communicated, but it wasn’t able to kill off the pen. Instead, pens simply filled the niches.
This is truer now more than ever. Pens may be used less frequently, but they are still a must-have item in everyday life. Online banking has reduced the need for paper checks, but every bank still has a kiosk filled with deposit and withdrawal slips. Tablets offer apps for jotting memos, but you can write out three Post-it notes before the app even opens. Classrooms are increasingly allowing laptops and iPads for note-taking, but try passing a “Do You Like Me? Yes or No” note through email. In other words, people still need pens.
Not sold yet? That’s okay. There are options for even the staunchest of technophiles.
See, pen manufacturers did not sit idle by while the tablet and smartphone bandwagon was filling up. It did the sensible thing…it got creative. All manner of tech-friendly pens are now available, with stylus-tipped offerings effectively bridging the gap between the old-school and new-school. Pens with styluses, especially the soft-tip styluses that are compatible with the capacitive touchscreens like on the iPhone and iPad, are becoming popular thanks to the huge demand for smartphones and tablets.
According to Computerworld, the International Data Corporation’s “Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker” study projected 2013 tablet sales at 172.4 million units, with 2016 sales skyrocketing to 282.7 million. Even if only a fraction of pen-users embrace the pen-stylus hybrid, that’s still a huge base of potential users. Looking at projections like that, it’s not crazy to think that touchscreen devices – long thought to be the death of traditional writing instruments – could actually contribute to an increase in demand of pens.
Maybe the long-form, handwritten letter is a thing of the past but writing instruments remain the second best selling promotional products behind apparel. Like I said before…the pen isn’t dead.
Adapted from an article in PromoMarketing.