Got a tablet, no tablet
When appeared on the market tablets, they were immediately declared killers of laptops. iPad was initially considered a large iPod touch and totally unnecessary device, but time has shown that the market does not need portable computers. Now, however, sales of tablets decreased, while in PC sales growth.
Don’t get me wrong. the iPad sells very well, but not well enough. Apple even dared to release the product cannibal iPad Mini, which automatically ate the market share of its big brother.
The problem is that the last two years we see the «artificial» improvements in tablets. It is not enough to go on stage and say that the tablet was twice as fast, or has a display with a higher pixel density. Consumers are no longer impressed by the fact that the tablet was reduced to 7 inches, or is 12 inch.
Along with the trend of increasing screen sizes of smartphones on the market, a new category of devices. We are talking about «tabletag». The boundary between the so-called «mini» tablets and phablets severely blurred. Most people, instead of a small tablet that you cannot use as a phone, would prefer to buy a huge phone to use… as a tablet. On the Android side is almost zero difference between the functions of tablets and phones, so the purchase of two device categories makes no sense. And Microsoft, despite the fact that weak sales of Surface very hard hit by, the company continues to try to convince us that tablet and laptop are perfectly combined in one device.
In the first half of 2014, tablet sales fell sharply. Apple announced a drop in sales of its iPad at 9.2% in the second and 16.1% in the first quarter of 2014, IDC Statistics show that in April-June slowed and shipments of tablets Samsung.
At the same time, according to IDC and Gartner, PC sales in the U.S. in the second quarter increased by 7%, while Apple sold 4.1 million Mac computers, saying the increase in sales by 5% compared to the same period last year. Recall that in late July, the CEO of Best Buy said in an interview with Recode that tablet sales «collapsed».
One of the possible reasons for the decrease in sales is market saturation. Almost everyone who wanted to buy a tablet, did it. In developed countries, tablets are even grandmothers and children.
However, for many people the tablet is not needed at all. The main «culprit» for this is the company Samsung, which successfully launched the smartphones with huge screens. The company dominates the market to such an extent that even ardent opponents of the huge displays, as Apple was forced to release a similar device to answer a powerful competitive wave.
Many, including myself, believe that the tablets just become boring and unattractive to the consumer audience. Experiments with large, medium and small displays no longer work, and the performance is not a priority and can impress is that on the «high-tech maniacs». The level of personalization depends entirely on the operating system, and it is identical to that offered phablets and smartphones.
At this stage, the tablets are not considered as a product for ordinary users. Category regarded as such, offering products to improve productivity. Manufacturers like to advertise their tablets as a device with which you can do the work anywhere and without having to use the laptop. This idea belongs to Microsoft, but the sales speak for themselves.
According to recent rumors, Microsoft wants to unify all Windows platform under one brand. We can only speculate about the reasons for this decision. Perhaps a new «unique» giant’s strategy involves deliberate blurring of the boundaries between phones, tablets and phablets. Whether this strategy is successful – we’ll see.
Other companies such as Apple refuse to integrate tablets and laptops, claiming that they are two different product categories that offer specially created for them a custom experience. I partially agree. iPad cannot replace my laptop. How to convince people that strive for efficiency, to use Photoshop without a mouse, for example. It’s even harder to convince them to do it on the 8-inch screen.
The tablets will not die. A product category is relatively young and offers a large field for changes. What manufacturers need to do is to stop thinking that we are fools. They will not be able to sell us the same function for several years, each time stressing that they are now working even faster.
Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and Google needs to convince us that the tablet is suitable for other tasks and not only for watching videos, listening to music, surfing and fast, but limited processing.
Sales will fall as long as the producers don’t stop go crazy with inadequate screen sizes and models 2-in-1 processors 25% faster, and consumers will not be convinced that a tablet is a device that definitely need to have. Another option – can we just stop being so demanding.