Tablets have been a remarkable episode in the process of media consumption, whether online or offline. Right now it is striking to see such a young technology being at risk of becoming obsolete as tablet sales are crashing. Of course, the iPad was the one to start the frenzy back in 2010. Tablet computers have been a part of the mobile computing world for longer, though. Palm was one of the most compelling examples, as the company’s products resemble the modern tablet a lot. As the means of putting a decent processor in a slim design got real, the dream of having a tablet computer came true.
Consumers have recently been put in the situation of choosing a new gadget for various reasons. Whether it is because of trends, new types of communication or to increase mobility, consumers bought smartphones and tablets. But the laptop remains the workhorse for most of us, it is still the main content production unit. Smartphones, as a particular type of gadget, have seen a healthy crescendo. iOS and Android smartphones were released in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Since then, with each new OS and hardware versions, we enjoyed noticeable improvements.
Tablet sales are crashing as technology changes shape
It is not the same in the case of tablets. Newer tablets are not very different from their older versions. So there is not real incentive to buy a new 7 to 10 inch device. Of course, a Microsoft Surface and similar products are much more than what a tablet is commonly referred as. The real change in the world of tablets was the development of a rich low-cost category. As flagship smartphones got larger and larger, they ended up being too close for comfort with tablets. If you own a 5-5.5 inches smartphone, a 7-8 inches tablet becomes almost redundant and the phablet is born.
Recently Samsung took a measure to ensure a decisive advantage over Apple’s iPad.
Because of some of the reasons listed above, Best Buy, the largest brick and mortar electronics retailer, announced a dramatic decrease in tablet sales. Hubert Joly, Best Buy Chief Executive, said in an interview for Re/Code that “The tablets boomed and now are crashing. The volume has really gone down in the last several months. But I think the laptop has something of a revival because it’s becoming more versatile. So, with the two-in-ones, you have the opportunity to have both a tablet and laptop, and that’s appealing to students in particular. So you have an evolution. The boundaries are not as well defined as they used to be.” Tablet sales are crashing, but if we look at the overall sales of smartphones, tablets and laptops, mobile technology is more and more pervasive, so there is nothing to fear as tablets are just one type of gadget among others.