At Prodo Digital, we've seen tablet usage stutter over the last couple of years across a number of verticals.
I wrote an article for Figaro Digital questioning the much-serenaded tablet revolution in April 2015 and concluded that, as of February 2015, tablet growth (in terms of usage on our websites) was stagnant.
Tablet's been superseded by explosive smartphone uptake that seems to grow consistently at the expense of both tablet and desktop/laptop.
Here are a few personal opinions:
- You can't really get that much work done on a tablet (have you tried using Excel on a tablet? It's a waking nightmare)
- Tablets offer similar functionality to most smartphones but on a larger screen. The upshot is that, unless you've got pockets deeper than Tony Stark, you likely can't fit a tablet in your pants (and honestly, who wants to answer a phone call on a tablet? Come on)
- You replace your smartphone more frequently than a tablet, meaning your mobile is generally quicker, lighter, and you can keep up with the Joneses when it comes to your tech collection ("You have the iPhone 6? Oh darling, that's so very 2014: Quentin has the 6S and it's absolutely divine".)
For a more data-backed opinion, here are the sales
Nielsen reported that tablet penetration in the USA has reached 51% of homes, but that pales in comparison to the 78% who have a smartphone.
Tablet sales are down for Apple, Samsung and Lenovo but both Huawei and Amazon made significant landgrabs in their market share and sales.
'During the earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “We had our best iPad [year over year] compare (sic) in 10 quarters." This is due in part to the success of the smaller iPad Pro.'
The takeaway from this? Consumers want smaller, cheaper tablets. They don't want to spend as much on tablets because they use them less frequently than their mobiles.
Simple enough reasoning, but based on sales data and observed usage patterns, that appears to be true.
And, on a personal note, tablets are just a bit pointless, aren't they?
According to new numbers from IDC, the global tablet market is contracting. The market declined 12.3 percent versus a year ago in terms of quarterly shipments. However, in its most recent earnings release, Apple beat iPad sales expectations.