08 Oct Sales of Tablet Devices Are on the Decline
Tablet PC devices have been around for a while now, to be exact, the first Tablet PC was released by none other than Microsoft in 2000 and in 2001 Ericsson had a DephiPad with touchscreen in development, but the first real portable tablet-like computer device was GRiD Systems’ GRiDPad. So no, Apple did not invent the concept, nor the name Pad of iPad. But yes, when Apple released the first iPad in 2010, the explosive popularity of such devices went berserk. Apple should actually thank all the eBook readers that introduced the market to similar devices, which all came prior to the iPad, but were largely limited to reading of books and magazines. Nowadays any and all mobile smartphone manufactures also have tablet devices in their range of products.
Currently the sales of tablet devices are somewhere around 200 million units per year, whereby approximately 70% are Android tablets, a tad over 20% are Apple iPads with iOS and less than 6% are Microsoft Windows based tablets. The largest single manufacturers of tablet devices are Apple and Samsung, whereby the increasing number of Android based tablet manufacturers are close by. The rise of sales continued into the year 2014, but the increase was diminishing until a peak was reached by 2015, when stagnation and slight decline begun, which continues to this day.
The reasons for this decline can be perceived by evaluating the handheld market more closely, where smartphone devices ballooned to phablet size, generally surpassing an average of five inches and making smaller tablets next to obsolete. Furthermore, an increase in sales of GSM, 3G and LTE capable tablets also suggests that people like to have continuous online and connectivity capability, something that is with only Wi-Fi not possible. In addition to that, the market is quite saturated as is, the technology is advancing much too fast so that app providers cannot cope with this speed, something that also killed the PC race/competition and next to eliminated personal computers from the field.
There are so many truly wonderful and capable devices out there, where any increasing of power, storage and RAM does not bring anything, because all the apps run perfectly well anyway. Thus, latest devices lack innovation; there are no true reasons why someone should abandon last year’s device for a new one, because the old one is still great. The best proof is that the new iPad Pro has all the same specs as the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 which came out almost two years ago and nobody noticed. There is no surprise factor anymore; even Apple was grasping at straws, introducing the iPencil as the next big thing, something which Samsung had already introduced in 2011 as the S Pen.
The future of tablets is not yet there, perhaps better resolution can be introduced, the smartphones are way ahead in that particular niche; maybe people should listen to the HTC Nexus 7, the trademark BoomSound does improve the experience and all tablets should have at least such quality of sound; all tablets will at some point have GSM/3G/LTE connectivity; but also tablets need to return to simply being a toy and incredible fun, the whole tablet experience got depressingly sombre and serious of late, taking out all the excitement once was the prime selling point. Tablets should be used in schools and replace books altogether, all of them should have S Pen and extended storage capabilities, but yes, tablets should also be pure, juvenile fun. That versatility and multi-purpose can be the next point of planning for tablet device manufacturers, it could mean the possibility for continuous growth and also guaranteed sales, because there are always more children on the way and such who kept the child-like wonder somewhere within themselves.