have tablets plateaued?


Tablets were supposed to take over and replace laptops – it seems they have peaked and leveled off and their market share are being taken by Phablets. Will this decline continue or will tablets remain at their current level of sales? Will they increase sales?

what do the experts in forums think?

Comments (11)

11 responses to “have tablets plateaued?”

  1. thejoefin

    It seems like the hurdle has so far been making input device better than mouse and keyboard. Tablets are good for situations with low to no user input. For everything else there's the tried and true clamshell laptop.

    Phones are always within reach. Laptops are always more capable. This leaves a very small area where tablets are the best tool for the job.

    • endoftheroad

      In reply to TheJoeFin: Well said, that sums it up perfectly at this time.

    • beckoningeagle

      In reply to TheJoeFin:

      I agree. I ended up moving to a Kindle. With bigger phones available and being able to do all the stuff I did on the iPad, but in the phone, I ended up just buying a device to do the only thing I can't really do in the phone which is read books. I still use the Kindle App to read comics, because of colors, but for books, nothing is more comfortable in the eyes than a Kindle, and the battery life is unbeatable (if you turn off the wifi, the battery lasts for weeks).

      Everything else that needs more power, I always used the laptop anyway.

  2. Chris_Kez

    I'm not an expert but I don't think there was any real expectation that tablets were going to replace laptops. Yes, there was some irrational exuberance amongst the tech press when the iPad launched and in the immediate time after as sales exploded, but Steve Jobs explicitly positioned the iPad between the laptop and the phone as a third option. I don't think that has changed (for most people). Keyboard attachments, file explorer and multi-tasking enhancements, etc. have made the iPad more flexible but I think for most people that predominantly need a larger screen and a keyboard the laptop (or desktop) will be the primary choice.

    From a sales standpoint, iPad sales were in decline for a long stretch but have more recently seen growth as Apple cut prices. To be clear, even as unit sales declined I think the user base was still growing because these things have very long life cycles. But even with recent growth they're nowhere near the number of laptops sold every year. I think we'll see continued unit growth from the base model, and a small number of people every year switching to iPad (maybe more iPad Pro) in place of a laptop; this will be a very small number of people but they'll be well represented in social media and the tech press.

    I think phablets had a bigger impact on Android tablets, which tended to be cheaper, but certainly the introduction of the larger iPhones from the 6 and 6 Plus onward probably had some impact on iPads and iPad Minis. That said, I think phones from every manufacturer have gotten so large across the board that I don't even think of them as "phablets" anymore; they're just phones and they're all 5.5" or larger, which is bigger than the Samsung Galaxy Note that really popularized the phablet concept in a big way in 2011. (Yes, there was the Dell Streak before that, and the HTC Advantage even before that, but the Note was the big one IMHO).

  3. jltuv

    Windows and Android worlds most likely. Apple with it’s move to ARM base processors, that’s could change everything. This morning, I found out that Grammarly has come to the iPad with full blown app. How much longer till Microsoft comes up with version of Office that offers a ton feature? Tablets for Apple could still become their low end PC replacement or if Apple does a two in one then may be no difference between the two in their world soon.

  4. james.h.robinson

    1. Tablet sales plateaued years ago. Even iPad sales fell for a few years, before starting a slight uptick again.
    2. I don't think tablets were supposed to replace PCs, except for consumers doing things at home.
    3. Yes, phablets killed tablets.
  5. KPixel

    Smartphones have also pretty much plateaued, so...

    I think consumer hardware have overall reached that plateau.

    We won't see a new category of devices that sells billion units for a while.

    But there are many niches that are blossoming (smartwatches, AR/VR, etc). But they will stay in the tens of millions of units sold (which is also quite good).

  6. 2ilent8cho

    The iPad is growing at a rate of around 20 million users a year.

  7. winner

    They've always been a type of plateau, haven't they?

    I'll show myself out now.