Skip to comments.Here's My Theory For Why Tablet-Market Growth Just Collapsed ...
Posted on 05/12/2014 12:58:10 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
As recently as a couple of quarters ago, analysts were convinced that tablet growth rates would be stratospheric forever, or at least until a few billion people had one.
Apple, it was said, was no longer going to be "the iPhone company." It was going to be "the iPad company." And analysts were frantically calculating how much money Apple was going to coin once it was selling more iPads than iPhones.
Well, those forecasts aren't looking so promising anymore.
Tablet growth has slowed sharply over the past few quarters. And tablet growth at Apple has hit a wall.
Analysts have several theories for why growth in this recently ballistic market has suddenly tanked. They cite "increased penetration rates," "high price points," and "lack of innovation," for example.
And all those factors are indeed likely contributing.
But here's what I think is the real reason tablet growth has cratered:
Tablets do not yet solve a pressing need that is not already solved by a laptop or smartphone.
Put differently, there's no clear reason yet to own two or three expensive personal-computing devices. You can accomplish just about everything by owning one or two. Some people can get by with only a smartphone, especially now that smartphone screens are much larger than they used to be. (And if people have to own only one device, that's what they're going to own—a smartphone.) Others need two devices. For some people, the best two-gadget combination will be a smartphone and tablet. For others, a smartphone and laptop or desktop.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
something tells me that this family does not have the $79 Kindles... no way...
I got an I-Pad as a gift about 18 months ago....I love it, but I find it is really for entertainment. There is no place for file storage, like a computer, so I use both.
The real reason is the drop in discretionary spending money.
I love my kindle it was more like 179 bucks but it is now my favorite bathroom buddy
Also convertibles and hybrids I don’t think count as tablets...so those are probably hurting the trending in this chart.
IMO innovation (or the lack of) is killing tablets. Most tablets boast slower processers and poorer cameras than their same-brand, same-generation smartphone counterparts. Screen size is the only practical differentiator.
Here’s my take. Phone demand remains constant because phones go through more wear and tear and get outdated more quickly. I almost always NEED to replace a phone every two years because I wear it out. I have a two year old iPad right now with zero need to upgrade.
I think the author has a point, too. There isn’t a NEED for tablets in the same way as phones. A husband and wife may decide they need two phones, but many will have one tablet. Or none.
The real reason is the drop in discretionary spending money.
To attract business customers, tablets, including the iPad, need to support the needs of business rather than forcing business users make concessions to the device’s functional limits. While there are certainly plenty of tablets in use in corporate environments, it’s not always a happy marriage.
I will concede that there are a few tablets and tablets with detachable keyboards that are aimed at business users. But even if the uptake in business use were to grow substantially, it wouldn’t necessarily be enough to kick start tablet sales.
What’s needed there as many observers have noted is something more. There needs to be a useful new feature that makes business users suddenly decide in mass that they need to upgrade.
Unfortunately, it’s not clear what that something might be. Right now, tablets are a sort of technological one-trick pony. They do what they do nicely, but that’s all that they do. While you can force a tablet into new roles, that doesn’t make it a happy fit.
Also convertibles and hybrids...
I think you hit the nail on the head. I have noticed it in another type of business also.
I don't have room in my pockets for a phone, kindle, tablet, Franklinm Planner and a laptop. Give me something akin to an electronic Clipboard that does laptop/tablet functions and a phone and be done with it. Also allow a flexible membrane-ish keyboard and an pen or mouse option for us troglodytes :-)
World economy tanking and with it the disappearance of discretionary income. No surprise people spend less on items like this.
When we travel I carry my laptop and she carries an I-Pad, I do not like the I-Pad.
This is a prime example of using charts to make something that is good look bad.
Saturation is the enemy of any market. Who needs a faster and faster tablet when the one they have surfs the net just fine?
Huh? What’s good about it?
It is a bulky camera, a lousy computer, and can not take the place of a phone.
Other than that it is a hybrid looking for a problem. A smart phone can do almost everything a tablet can and is more portable. A laptop can do tons more and is only a bit more bulky and a desk top can have a screen of limitless size and storage.
It is great to watch TV and video when you don’t have a TV or computer.
I’m still using an iPad-1 and have felt no need to upgrade. I still consider my desktop PC to be my “real” computer, and use it for heavy duty use (music editing, movie editing, transferring files to the iPad via iTunes, etc.). I use the iPad to surf the web when I’m outside on the deck smoking a cigar, or when I travel. I use it for Kindle/iBooks when I travel, read comic books on it, etc. Still don’t need to upgrade it.
One potential reason might be that one can get a laptop for the price of a tablet.
Thanks, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that!
Right on, guys. Discretionary spending is dropping, forcing all kinds of retailers to close stores or go out of business entirely. Who needs an iPad when you can barely make rent or fill your gas tank?
I still don’t have either one.
I've looked at the newer versions, but the one I have is still great for my needs, so I don't see a reason to buy another one just yet.
Maybe the "analysts" incorrectly figured that tablet users would be like iPhone users... compelled to upgrade every single time there's a new version.
I have a kindle on which I read books, play games and surf FR. I do prefer the desk top computer for FR when I am home. I am, however, burned out on electronics. I have a cell phone, but limit it’s usage to texting ahd phone calls. But, it’s almost summer and nothing beats actually being outdoors in nature. A tablet, can’t allow one to commune with nature, you just have to put it down and walk outside to do that.
Tablets are toys. They don’t really have much practical use at all. The few businesses I have seen with them (mainly restaurants), it takes forever for the waiter to type in or select the order, when they could write it down easier and quicker. Some guys I work with use them, mainly audio guys who can control the board as they walk around the room. Not very professional/practical, more just a cool toy to use with everything.
They aren’t big enough to do many tasks, so you need a laptop or bigger. They are useless for gaming, except for phone games like tetris or fruit ninja. They are too big to take the place of your phone, and aren’t nearly as portable.
The tablet does exactly what he needs it to do, and relieves us of having to take two computers on the road. But I don't envision us replacing it unless something really fabulous hits the market.
Excellent point. I just got a new Acer with Windows 7 and a 750 gig hard drive for $375.
Here’s my own theory:
1. Everybody that was going to buy one has now bought one.
2. For the casual user, they can be more difficult to operat than a PC, and then they find out that tablets are basically toys.
3. For power users, tablets have always been nearly useless.
In other words, tablets were just another form-factor fad, following in the footsteps of “netbooks”, only less useful.
I always get a kick out of my friends bringing over their shiny new tablets to show off, except they’re always “still learning how to use them”, or never actually manage to show me something “cool” they can do, like answer an email or even do a quick google search, or if they do, it’s like watching Wade Messer on “Justifed” dial 911 on a cell phone, mouthing the numbers out loud while in deep concentration with his tongue poked out of one corner of his mouth as he laboriously pokes out “911”.
I was offered a free Samsung Tablet at Verizon this weekend as part of a Mother’s Day promotion (and I’m a male.) My only cost would have been 10.00 a month to add it to my account and I didn’t even want one.
If a government wanted to adopt a set of policies deliberately designed to pauperize the American people it's hard to see how anyone could do better than the current policies of unfair "free" trade combined with high corporate taxes, regulations and restrictions on resource extraction.
No, no, no. It’s Global Warming that’s affecting tablet sales. See, people are worried about their tablets breaking from increasing temperatures. Many people have accepted the fact that their tablets will break from rising temperatures and have decided to hold on to theirs until it overheats. Their hope is that new replacement models will be more heat-resistant.
If I might ask - where did you find one with win 7? I thought most force you to get win 8 now.
Because the specs don’t grow very fast, so there’s not much compelling reason to replace your old one until it actually breaks.
Speaking of The Obama Economy is not allowed.
“Right on, guys. Discretionary spending is dropping, forcing all kinds of retailers to close stores or go out of business entirely. Who needs an iPad when you can barely make rent or fill your gas tank?”
Bingo! You have nailed a very large % of the reason tablet sales are dropping off.
My wife and I for years have enjoyed asking people how much their smart phones cost and cost per month and in the past couple of years did the same with the tablets.
Few if any when asked these questions, either know the answers or were willing to tell us.
Families of 4 where the main breadwinner hasn’t had a decent raise in years often have a smart phone for everyone in the family and at least one tablet if not more. They often complain bitterly about the price of groceries, utilities, rent, gasoline and etc, and somehow they justify the very high monthly costs and initial outlays.
The second reason is business wise. The corporate CFO’s may be saying no to tablets. Two young relatives have had that happen. Both are key execs involved daily in critical decisions with two different companies.
Last year, one got the latest I phone and I Pad from his company with everything service wise paid for. At first he used both. Then, he found that he needed his I Pad less and less in the field and hardly ever in the office versus his office PC. His daily use of the I Phone has grown basically every month. He and his peers have the same approach, which is, “If what you want to communicate with me is not one where we need legal documentation, text me via my I phone and expect a quick and simple/short answer. If your need to communicate an issue that is lengthy and could be legal, send me an email and don’t text me. His business use of his new I Pad has dropped to all most nothing. His use of his IPhone increase each week, and it has made his job much easier time wise and response wise.
Last week, he was told that his company will discontinue the service on the I Pad, this 1 July, the start of their new fiscal year. He can give his I Pad to his kids or keep it at home for fun and games.
The other brother had an old android phone and service paid for by his company. At the first of last year, he was given an I Pad by his company last year with a full Verizon service and told to use it for business and personal use.
At the first of this year he got a new I phone with a full service with no limits contract paid by his company. It was stressed that he use the I Phone where possible versus the tablet. This first of this month he was told when his I Pad service runs out at the end of this calendar year, his company will not renew the service. He can keep the I Pad, but he will have to pay for the service on his own. The monthly contract + overage cost for his IPad are well over $100 per month. He will use his Comcast WiFi with his pad at home, and his new I phone with the service paid for by his company will become his main digital communication tool. His I Phone takes great pictures, and it is easy to transfer them to his I Pad.
Many tablets have the hardware for phone use but it is disabled in the US.Galaxy tab COULD be my portable computer with Bluetooth headset except for that.If I tether my smartphone to tablet for bigger screen they want additional fee.
The Surface 2 Pro is a great alternative. Too bad it is so expensive that it precludes consideration. Keyboard cover sold separately. Office sold separately. Enough memory to make it viable sold separately.
When the smoke clears, it is $1300 plus for a Surface 2 Pro. Microsoft could teach classes in how not to market products. I was in GameStop this Sunday, and they were paying guys to help sell their Xbox One with their new Kinect.
So, a guy with an actual MSFT employee badge was in a mall in Western Wa selling Xbox Ones. That’s all he did all day. Nobody there from Nintendo or Sony.
Hey, you could lower the price and not spend any money on the thousands of employees you deployed to push your overpriced hardware.
Last time I checked the PS4 was cleaning both company’s clocks pretty handily.
A tablet is a great device for media purposes. It works well as a book, magazine, a tv to keep on your desk while working, a game machine, etc.
These functions it does very well. I would say, because I can hold a tablet in my hand far more comfortably than most laptops, it’s more suited for these purposes than any laptop.
Sony actually has such a device. It’s like an electronic piece of paper.
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