Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Handhelds Portables Hardware

Is the Tablet Market In Outright Collapse? Data Suggests Yes 328

Nerval's Lobster writes Is the tablet market rapidly collapsing? Mobile-analytics firm Flurry doesn't come to quite that stark a conclusion, but things aren't looking too good for touch-screens that don't qualify as "phablets." According to Flurry's numbers, full-sized tablets accounted for only 11 percent of new devices in 2014, a decline from 2013, when that form-factor totaled 17 percent of the new-device market; small tablets experienced a smaller decline, falling from 12 percent to 11 percent of new devices between 2013 and 2014. (Meanwhile, phablets expanded from 4 percent of new devices in 2013 to 13 percent this year.) Boy Genius Report, for its part, looked at those numbers and decided that the tablet market is doomed: "Consumers happy with compact smartphones are not switching to larger iPhones for now, but former tablet buyers are." That's not to say people will stop using tablets, but the onetime theory that they would one day cannibalize all PCs looks increasingly nebulous.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Is the Tablet Market In Outright Collapse? Data Suggests Yes

Comments Filter:
  • Tablet? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @11:48AM (#48696719) Journal
    Oh, you mean my personal Netflix gadget.

    I use it (google nexus 7) because the battery lasts a long time, it is portable, and it is specifically NOT my phone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Isaac-1 ( 233099 )

      So what the hell are Phablets? Do we really need this new term that will be out of date in 6 months?

      • Its not a new term. The Chinese have been cranking them out for a few years. A phone with a 6" or larger screen.

      • Re:Tablet? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:07PM (#48696887) Homepage Journal

        So what the hell are Phablets? Do we really need this new term that will be out of date in 6 months?

        A phablet is a mythical tablet where they re-enable the disabled phone circuitry that's present in the chips.

      • I was doing a PC refresh project at a local hospital in 2012 when several of the I.T. techs got phablets to replace their personal cellphones. People laughed at them for having this big ass tablet next to their ear as if it was cellphone or juggling between their work Blackberry and phablet at the same time. They went back to smaller cellphone after the novelty wore off.
        • >People laughed at them for having this big ass tablet next to their ear

          Why would anyone care if stupid people laugh at them?
          • Re:Tablet? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @01:09PM (#48697523)

            Why would anyone care if stupid people laugh at them?

            Because those stupid people in a hospital are nurses and doctors. Give them an opportunity to look down on you as an I.T. professional and you will never hear the end of it. As an I.T. contractor, I worked in a wide variety of companies with different cultures. A hospital is perhaps the most hostile work enviornment. Either you fall in line with the pecking order or the door hits your ass on the way out.

            • Ever work in a law firm? My wife (an attorney) tells horror stories.

              • Re:Tablet? (Score:4, Interesting)

                by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @01:41PM (#48697863)
                I applied for a tech job at a law firm this past summer. The recruiter submitted my resume along with a half-dozen other resumes. The hiring manager rejected them all out of hand for lacking tenure (i.e., at least three years in the last three positions). The recruiter had to explain to the hiring manager that practically no one has three years in the last three positions since the Great Recession, as everyone is doing short-term contract and getting whatever jobs they can find. Last I heard, the position was still open.
                • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

                  Such people actually do exist in IT. They just aren't going to be applying for a job at a law firm.

                  The people at that law firm are entirely too full of themselves (which is common enough).

    • Re:Tablet? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:07PM (#48696885) Journal

      It's all about use cases. My wife uses her iPad for the same reasons you do, but she rarely bothers with a full-blown PC. For her, the iPad is great for road trips, small vacations, etc.

      On my part, I rarely bother with a tablet; I have/use CG applications that a tablet simply could not keep up with, if anything were even written for them in that vein. Plus, I prefer the larger screens, bulkiness be damned.

      • Re:Tablet? (Score:5, Informative)

        by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:11PM (#48696919)

        Also, tablets have a longer lifespan than your average smartphone. The tablet market could probably be called Mature now. Explosive growth is over, at least in the original Western Markets. You are looking at incremental growth and replacements.

        Mobil phones, on the other hand, are still P.O.S. devices that start breaking within a year or are obsoleted by he never ending OS updates, carrier technology, etc.

        • I can agree easily to that - a good tablet will outlast a good mobile phone by miles. I think the only real limiting factor would be the battery.

        • My cellphones usually last three years before I trade-in for a new one. I got an iPhone 5C this year because my 1st gen iPod Touch (2008) could no longer hold a charge, my cellphone contract was already up, and the iPhone was cheaper than a replacement iPod Touch. I may keep it for three years -- or longer.
          • my cellphone contract was already up, and the iPhone was cheaper than a replacement iPod Touch

            T-Mobile and the MVNOs itemize the hardware and the service plan. This means your total monthly bill decreases after the contract ends because the financed phone disappears from your bill. Compared to the old price structure of cellular service in the U.S., where everyone was expected to take a new subsidized phone every 24 months, this behaves like a discount for keeping your old phone. It's more in line with the pricing model of wired home Internet access, where the DSL or cable bill is all that's left on

            • by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @03:00PM (#48698601) Journal

              It ain't exactly "subsidized." You still pay for the entire thing.

              I was off-contract with AT&T for a year with my old phone and I just opted for a Nexus 6. I thought about just buying it outright at $650, but if I signed a contract with AT&T for 2 years, I'd get the phone for only $250. Well...I've had good service with AT&T and when I tried T-Mobile it was impossible for me to make calls at home or work. No coverage. So okay, I'm not jumping ship from AT&T any time soon, anyway. The AT&T version only has 2 extra, easily uninstallable apps and is completely rootable and unlockable as any other Nexus, so vendor bloatware not a problem.

              So I buy my $250 phone. At checkout, they tell me there's a $40 "upgrade fee" that will appear on my next bill. Huh. Okay...still $290 is better than $650... I get my phone activate it, love it. A few days later I get a text from AT&T. Oh by the way...when you were off contract we were giving you a $15/month discount. But now that you're on contract, you no longer qualify for that. So your bill will go up by $15/month.

              Wait, so...let me get out my abacus here...$15/month...times 24 months...is $360...plus the $40 upgrade fee...plus the $250 out of pocket for the phone...damn it $650!

              And that's how they getcha. They always getcha...

        • Re:Tablet? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Lord Apathy ( 584315 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:41PM (#48697189)

          Also, tablets have a longer lifespan than your average smartphone. The tablet market could probably be called Mature now. Explosive growth is over, at least in the original Western Markets. You are looking at incremental growth and replacements.

          I would imagine that you are correct. While they are technically computers I classify tablets as data display devices. You use them to display web pages, read ebooks, and pay bills with online banking. You really don't use them for general purpose computers.

          While they have different processor speeds, screen sizes and run different OS, basically they all do the same thing. And its hard to improve on what they do. Once you find one that you are happy with, it should serve for years doing its job.

      • Re:Tablet? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:44PM (#48697237)

        The summary and comments so far have been comparing tablets to phones. But the proper comparison is between tablets and laptops.

        ANECDOTE ALERT

        I'm a big believer that tablets will replace laptops. My ipad used to be for games, light browsing, etc. But two things happened that changed everything:
        * I got a really high quality keyboard case that comes very close to replicating the look and feel of a laptop (search for ClamCase if you care to)
        * my work switched to office 365, which means all of the outlook, word, excel, CRM, and sharepoint is available online and through ipad apps.

        Now my tablet has probably replaced 75% of my home computer needs, and 100% of travel needs - I leave my work laptop at home and only take the tablet. It's super cool. It does many things that my home/work laptops do not:
        * it is small and light, yet the ipad screen is way huge compared to netbook screens.
        * cell connection means you always have email the instant you open it, and any website is available any where. once you get used to this it is jarring to back to a laptop where you're scrounging for internet access (or have a Sting that glows when in the presence of unsecured wifi).
        * instant wake from sleep. Another thing where once you get used to that it's hard to go back to the laptop.
        * it lasts all day. literally, 10 hrs +. better than my crappy work win7 that burns like a thousand suns.
        * road warriors will identify with this one: the charger is small and light (not a brick)

        Like I said, anecdote alert. But I think that aside from computer professionals, many people can be more than suited by an ipad + tablet case. The number of edge cases where a laptop works but an ipad doesn't work keeps on shrinking.

        Rumor mill says Apple will be updating the MacBook air to be a tablet/laptop hybrid, possibly like the set up I described. That would be cool!

        • Re:Tablet? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Amtrak ( 2430376 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @01:45PM (#48697895)

          Like I said, anecdote alert. But I think that aside from computer professionals, many people can be more than suited by an ipad + tablet case. The number of edge cases where a laptop works but an ipad doesn't work keeps on shrinking. Rumor mill says Apple will be updating the MacBook air to be a tablet/laptop hybrid, possibly like the set up I described. That would be cool!

          I know this is Slashdot so this is a little against the group think but isn't what you described exactly what Microsoft is trying to do with the surface? They made 2 versions, one that is stripped down with great battery life that runs office and a web browser. Then another one that is for professionals that is a full fledged ultra book.

          I have used a surface pro 2 and it was a pretty good laptop for data viewing, though I still like a real laptop for coding work. I can see it being the only computing device someone like my wife would ever need.

          I think in the long run the tablet market will be squeezed out by phones taking away the bottom and laptops taking away the top. Because lets be honest an iPhone 6+ is a great personal Netflix viewer and a Surface Pro or Convertible Mac Book Air would be better than a tablet with a keyboard case.

        • cell connection means you always have email the instant you open it, and any website is available any where.

          That's also available for a laptop. And whether on a laptop or on a tablet, you still have to pay hundreds of dollars per year to a cellular carrier on top of the hundreds you already pay for cable or DSL Internet at home.

          The number of edge cases where a laptop works but an ipad doesn't work keeps on shrinking.

          But it won't shrink to zero. Because Apple will not allow a compiler on an iPad for the foreseeable future, people working in anything but Codea will still have to subscribe to cellular service and use SSH, RDP, or VNC to compile and test the programs remotely.

    • Re:Tablet? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:42PM (#48697203) Homepage Journal

      I have a (don't judge me!) Surface Pro 2. After my last PC got struck by lightning almost 9 months ago, I haven't bothered building a new one.

      The Surface Pro has (just) enough processing power to handle most of what I need it to do. All my standard office stuff (word, excel, visio) and as long as I'm not doing anything too crazy, it handles my personal dev projects (VS2013 and some assorted web and .Net apps) including debugging (although I'm not running a local database on it for development).

      Yeah, it can do Netflix, hulu, and prime, but it also runs an Android emulator (hurray for Andyroid!) fairly well for apps I need that aren't available on Windows and for my own cross platform development testing.

      It's not a gaming rig though. I'm not going to jump in a 40-person WoW raid with the graphics cranked up, nor am I going to jump into a FPS and count on head shots. I still need an actual rig for that fun.

      But as far as having a super handy tablet that I can effectively doc to have a solid work machine (I'm in management now, so I don't need to compile that million lines of code assembly), it does quite well.

      As for upgrading, I got a great deal on the Surface Pro 2 as the Pro 3s had been on the market and the 2s were getting cleared out. If/When the Pro 4s come out, I might make the jump, but for now, I'm good.

      -Rick

    • In my case a cheap Chinese 10" no-name tablet serves the same purpose. As long as it has WiFi, a working SD card slot and is fast enough to play videos without any lags, there's no need to buy a newer one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @11:49AM (#48696729)

    So will the UI makers retreat on their strategy of forcing PCs to use touch-inspired interfaces? We can only hope.

    • by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @11:59AM (#48696819)

      So will the UI makers retreat on their strategy of forcing PCs to use touch-inspired interfaces? We can only hope.

      In my case I can certainly hope *not*.

      At home and at work my Surface Pro works perfectly as a day-to-day PC with an external screen, keyboard, mouse and wired network connectivity.

      On the bus, an airplane or wherever it works great as a touch tablet. It's the only gadget I carry and need (other than my little iPhone 4s).

      • by Amouth ( 879122 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:28PM (#48697065)

        Agree, the surface pro (especially the 3) are wonderful devices. Use it at work with a docking station and end up with 3 usable monitors (2x external + device). and when your on the road it just works great. one of the few devices that i can actually use on a plane.

        I will say also for such a thin keyboard which is used as a cover, the keys have more travel than expected and works quite well providing plenty of tactile feedback.

    • Headlines that were on Slashdot 10 years ago and will be here 10 years from now:

      Is X going to kill the PC?

      Is this the end of PC gaming?

      Is X the year of the Linux desktop?

      Open source, finally catching on?

      • Is X going to kill the PC?

        Anecdotal evidence [slashdot.org] is that yes, some people are eschewing general-purpose personal computers in favor of phones and tablets, possibly with a separate Bluetooth keyboard for text-heavy tasks. And yes, this is affecting the opportunity for their children to learn to program.

    • The article says nothing about tablets vs. pcs. it's only about tablets vs phones, as is the summary. The throwaway question at the end of the summary, "the onetime theory that they would one day cannibalize all PCs looks increasingly nebulous," is completely unsupported. If anything what we're seeing is the tablets are moving away from a phone replacement cycle and towards a PC replacement cycle, which is what you'd expect if the tablet replaces PCs. So the answer to your question is no, tablets and pcs wi

  • Also.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by SirGeek ( 120712 ) <`sirgeek-slashdot' `at' `mrsucko.org'> on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @11:49AM (#48696735) Homepage
    I'm not replacing my tablet every 2 - 3 years. When it comes to my phone ? Probably every 2 yearsish I'll replace it.
  • by Eponymous Coward ( 6097 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @11:49AM (#48696739)

    I have a tablet and use it all the time, but have no plans to buy a new one. I suppose if there are enough people like me, the tablet market is doomed.

    Lesson learned: don't build a good product that is going to work well for a long time.

    • by wcrowe ( 94389 )

      You're right. Tablets do age well. They're not constantly in use, and aren't getting dropped, and whatnot, as often, like phones are. They just don't need to be replaced as quickly.

    • by captjc ( 453680 )

      Same here.

      I bought an iPad 2 last year and love the thing. I found that I use it as much for work as I do for home. So I bought an Air 2 to keep at home. They both work fine and I have no need to replace them until they can no longer fulfill their purpose of checking email, browsing the web for a few hours and playing the occasional video or game. Definitely not going to replace them every 2-3 years.

    • by Tuidjy ( 321055 )

      I still have my original Nook Color. Two years ago, my wife got her own tablet. The Nook at least has been jailbroken and reconfigured so that it does everything I want to do off my gaming and coding PCs.

      I upgrade my gaming PC when we get a bigger monitor, my programing PC when I need to, my wife upgrades her phone when she doesn't want to appear out of date... But the tablets? They are only dropped on the bed, never get scratched, and don't do anything that taxes their modest capabilities. I cannot s

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:21PM (#48697009)

      Lesson learned: don't build a good product that is going to work well for a long time.

      Additional lesson learned: If you accidentally build an overly reliable product, as Apple did with the original iPad, you can still sabotage it by changing connectors, making it ineligible for OS upgrades, requiring new apps to include bulky "retina" images that aren't even used yet fill up very limited flash and RAM, and (starting Jan 1st) no longer allowing compatible apps to be submitted to the Apple App Store. There are many ways to retroactively screw your customers.

    • by Bigbutt ( 65939 )

      Yep. I have a first gen iPad and it still works for what I use it for. Forum participation, checking amazon for reviews, recipes when I'm cooking, reading books, browsing gaming pdfs, email, listening to music, and some simpler games. The browser crashes if I hit a youtube heavy thread on a forum or news article but it restarts and works afterwards. I think I just need to back off my apps and stuff again and reinstall the last OS for a clean install.

      [John]

    • it doesn't mean the tablet market is doomed, it just means the tablet replacement cycle will resemble PCs more than phones. this is to be expected since tablets are encroaching on laptops.

  • Market Saturation? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tysonedwards ( 969693 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @11:49AM (#48696743)
    Couldn't it also be that Tablets are a question of reaching market saturation, and that they fall more into the PC life cycle rather than the Cell Phone life cycle of being replaced yearly? From my personal experience, everywhere I go, I see people with tablets that are a year or two old because they are "good enough", lack compelling reasons to upgrade and also are typically appear significantly more expensive than their cell phone counterparts as they are typically sold unsubsidized.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      Yep. High quality tablets are so cheap now that there is little reason to spend much money on an expensive one, and the one you do buy will last for years. Phones are big enough for general browsing now anyway, and for other tasks you want a keyboard.

      • Friend just spend $525 on a tablet and I was like "what the hell!???!". I get everything I need out of a tablet sub $200 and then a year later can buy the table she bought for sub $200. Never understood being on the bleeding edge of technology.

        • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:35PM (#48697137)

          If I were to spend $525 for a tablet, I would keep it for 4 years. vs. Paying $200 every year and always staying a bit out of date.

          I can tolerate being out of date for a year, however I do like to reward my sacrifice with something top of the line afterwards. When I upgrade I like a noticable difference.

           

        • Please report to Apple HQ for reconditioning.

        • that's the problem with android tablets. ipads retain value (if anything, apple will hold on to the prior year's model and knock it down a hundred bucks, but not always) because they are designed to be long-term products.

    • Everything you just said. In addition Tablets are a niche product. Unlike personal computers, or phones, they are a "nice to have", but not really all that necessary. All that hyperbole about them replacing PC's are exactly that. They are not powerful enough, flexible enough, nor practical enough to do so.

      In addition, to all that, likely more recently the big thing killing the Tablet market is the size creep of phones. With the new iPhone 6 Plus Gigantor, the previous version of Galaxy McHuge, or even the G

    • >> appear significantly more expensive than their cell phone counterparts as they are typically sold unsubsidized

      I just bought two Android tablets for two of my kids at $70/each and two Android smartphones for another kid and my wife for $70/each. With a pay-as-you-go plan, conveniently hooked up to a credit card, I'm still paying just $55/month for all 3 of my family's connected cell phones.

      Subsidized cell phones and high monthly plans are for suckers.

    • Couldn't it also be that Tablets are a question of reaching market saturation, and that they fall more into the PC life cycle rather than the Cell Phone life cycle of being replaced yearly? From my personal experience, everywhere I go, I see people with tablets that are a year or two old because they are "good enough", lack compelling reasons to upgrade and also are typically appear significantly more expensive than their cell phone counterparts as they are typically sold unsubsidized.

      This. Phones need to

    • From my personal experience, everywhere I go, I see people with tablets that are a year or two old because they are "good enough", lack compelling reasons to upgrade and also are typically appear significantly more expensive than their cell phone counterparts as they are typically sold unsubsidized.

      I used an original Galaxy Tab until just under a year ago when I finally decided to upgrade to a Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. The only real reason I actually decided to get a new tablet is that the original Galaxy Tab is owned by my employer and I wanted my own tablet in case they ever want it back or change their policies about how I can use it, otherwise I may not have upgraded because the original Galaxy Tab is exactly that; "good enough."

      I don't really see any compelling reason to regularly upgrade tablets unl

    • I mean some people have a genuine need/use for a tablet however for most it is just a toy. They don't get it to replace a desktop and/or laptop, idiot tech journalist stories to the contrary, they get it in addition. It gets used for playing around, surfing the web on the couch, watching Netflix in bed, etc. It is just a toy. Nothing wrong with that, toys are fun, I have a tablet just for use as a toy. However that also makes it something not high up on the upgrade list. If all you are doing is some basic n

  • Seriously, if my phone isn't capable of doing whatever task I need to do, it means I probably need my full-on laptop anyway. Add in the fact that a tablet either requires wifi or requires cell service but can't make calls and it becomes obvious why the market is behaving this way.

    • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

      Some people like screens that are large enough to be useful. Phones with large screens are hard to carry around. A laptop needs wifi (or wired) for the same things that a tablet does, and you can't make calls with it either.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        A laptop needs wifi (or wired) for the same things that a tablet does

        Writing and testing code on a laptop can be done offline. Doing so on an iPad requires SSH, which requires a connection to the Internet.

        and you can't make calls with it either

        Unless you subscribe to a VoIP service. Then you can make calls over Wi-Fi. Furthermore, if you're only calling other VoIP users, you might not have to pay for even that.

  • Phone costs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @11:54AM (#48696771)

    The cost of a large smartphone is hidden by the contract.
    With a tablet you pay full price up front.

    Most of the time I am using my phone for reading, or for playing music. The Galaxy Note3 works well for that, and its more portable than my Kindle fire HDX 8.9

    • Re:Phone costs (Score:4, Informative)

      by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:30PM (#48697103) Journal
      Anyone who is paying attention can get a phone without subsidizing it with the carrier. I bought my Moto G outright ($200) and then took it to T-mobile to hook up.
    • The cost of a large smartphone is hidden by the contract. With a tablet you pay full price up front.

      Unless of course, Verizon throws in a tablet for an extra $0.02 up front and $10/month on your data plan when all you went in to do was replace your 3.5 year old phone. Sold.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @11:56AM (#48696791)

    "That's not to say people will stop using tablets, but the onetime theory that they would one day cannibalize all PCs looks increasingly nebulous."

    how do you look only at data concerning tablets and phones and come to a conclusion about PC's? What did laptop and PC sales look lik compared to mobile devices? My wife uses a 2 year old tablet as her primary computing device at home... She didn't want a replacement for her laptop when it failed because she can do everything she needs on her tablet.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      She didn't want a replacement for her laptop when it failed because she can do everything she needs on her tablet.

      Even if her tablet can do everything she needs today, what would she do if she found something tomorrow that she wants to do but that an iPad can't do by design?

  • Microsoft got that one right. Surface devices are far more than the Android/iPad tablet toys to kill time or hand to the kids. Tablets are devices looking for a use case: I don't see myself putting my phone aside to use a phone with a bigger screen, and that's exactly what you do when you drop the iPhone to use an iPad. In fact it makes a lot more sense to have phone/tablet combinations with different platforms (Android/iPad, or iPhone/Android Tablet).

    In any case, tablets as big phones are the ones that are

    • by Imagix ( 695350 )
      8". Not big enough. My iPad is for reading PDFs and playing music. (OK, and a little email). The 8" form factor is too small for that, and too big to use as a phone.
    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      The Surface Pro is a unique case. It isn't just a tablet running a tablet OS which makes it a media consumption device. It is a full PC that can drop into a docking station and take the role of a desktop machine.

      The issue with tablets is that they make great devices to watch videos, read the paper, or otherwise consume media. Because of this, a faster CPU isn't going to attract customers, similar with more RAM.

      This is just market saturation. This exact thing happened with the iPod when the larger capaci

    • by tom229 ( 1640685 )
      16gb? One round of Windows updates should take care of that pretty quick.

      I've used many x86 tablets and every one leaves something to be desired. They're usually slow, don't have enough storage, or have too small of a display. The metro interface is a dead idea so I end up primarily trying to fumble around in Desktop mode with a touch screen wishing I could just easily plug in a mouse and keyboard to the stupid thing. Microsoft has tried to solve this problem by creating the Surface 3. It has high end spe
  • So, since tablets have not, and probably won't eliminate laptops, desktops, and phones, the market is in collapse? Meh!

  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @11:57AM (#48696811)

    Wired Magazine keeps saying so!

  • but they are not made for data creation...doing graphics or coding on a tablet is a pain without getting a wireless keyboard/mouse... perhaps now we can get back to regular desktops...
    • but they are not made for data creation...doing graphics or coding on a tablet is a pain without getting a wireless keyboard/mouse....

      "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. "

      There is much more to data creation that just graphics and coding. My customers have needs while traveling that make a desktop and laptop too big, and a phone too small.

  • Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tom229 ( 1640685 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:00PM (#48696827)
    These marketing types are all chicken little's. Any engineer/technician could have told you this was going to happen. Tablets are not the new laptops. They are consumption devices used for a specific purpose. Everyone who wanted a tablet, now has one, so expect sales to slow. Expect content creators to keep buying laptops and desktops. And expect anyone with half a brain to keep rejecting touch unified interfaces, the "cloud", and software as a service.
    • And expect anyone with half a brain to keep rejecting touch unified interfaces, the "cloud", and software as a service.

      Tru Dat!

  • Saying that "the percentage of the market taken by device X has risen/dropped" is meaningless. You can have less of a market share and still have great growth in absolute terms. Article is Dice click-bait.

    "Show me the numbers!"

  • Smart Phone - Mobile Communications Central + quick access to any information needed and ability to do common tasks remotely (not sure why anyone really needs to upgrade this more than every 2-3 years)

    Amazon Tablet - General Video Consumption Device (we only turn on the TV when viewing family movies these days) that can also be used for decent video conferencing, Also great for some specific android apps that are designed for larger tablet screens, can substitute for laptop for most purposes, especially whe

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:13PM (#48696935)

    I was carrying my iPad Mini around with me to meetings and such - in addition to carrying my little phone. The Mini is about the perfect size gadget... but I was carrying two devices everywhere, one of which won't fit in many pockets. So... I decided to try using an iPhone 6+ as my one carry-around. It's definitely a compromise for some uses, but it's definitely good enough to replace the iPad for note taking in meetings, ssh'ing into a server in a pinch, or looking up info on the web when I'm away from my desk. I expect, going forward, I'll only have two devices - a biggish phone plus a light 12"-13" laptop (e.g. MacBook Air).

  • by Graymalkin ( 13732 ) * on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:20PM (#48696999)

    In a drive to be clickbait some company has decided to lie or at least massage the truth with abstract numbers. Market share has never ever and never will be a truly useful metric for the health of some market.

    Say i define a market as "portable computing devices without physical keyboards". The would cover smart phones and slate tablets. In year 1 there's a million smart phones sold and a million tablets sold. Each product segment has 50% market share. In year 2 thanks to just basic increases in demand and new features more devices are sold. This year four million phones are sold and two million tablets. Now the market share of tablets has dropped to 33% despite increasing unit sales by 100% from the previous year. Different products have different growth rates. Comparing two categories directly is rarely useful.

    As it stands the iPad still dominates the tablet market in terms of units sold even though its share of just the tablet market has decreased. This is due to expansion of the tablet market in the low end.

    Tablets were never going to replace all PCs. Anyone suggesting they would or complaining that they haven't is a fool. Tablets have replaced some PC sales but have also simply added to the computing landscape. The PCs they replaced were the ones doing the same job as the tablets: reading, basic web stuff, and light gaming. Tablets just do that job in a more portable fashion.

    Tablets in a "free fall" is just a ludicrous clickbait statement. Tablets are a form factor that was impractical for many years and are meeting that pent up demand. They're not going to replace all PCs nor will they get as ubiquitous as smart phones.

  • by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @12:21PM (#48697005)

    I suspect too much is being read in to these numbers. For the most part updates to tablets have been incremental over the past several years. Other than a fixation in owning the latest and greatest, there's no real reason to upgrade. PC updates have stalled a lot earlier than that for the very same reason. It's not that there aren't tangible performance gains, but for what most people do the difference is negligible.

    The mistake that so-called experts have made is to assume that the purchase of gadgets is some sort of zero sum game. When PC sales stalled they assumed that it was because of some sort of technological paradigm shift. The fact is that most PCs were still perfectly serviceable. So when it came time to spend on something they gravitated towards tablets. Of course, the economy was another big factor which was largely overlooked. Although, admittedly, that doesn't seem to stop many consumers from careless spending.

    So now we're at a point where tablets have largely saturated the market and people have been using them long enough to know where their utility lies. This likely means growth is going to permanently remain modest for both PCs and tablets.

  • I just don't want a tablet. I like my laptop just fine, and I can carry it almost anywhere a tablet would go.

    I have a 4" screen Android phone, for anything I need to do mobile-wise when I don't carry/have the laptop.

    Relative actually gave me a little 7" Android tablet, and I installed a couple of games on it and played a few minutes. Used it about 3-4 times over a year and haven't looked at it in months even.

  • Market saturation has been reached for me. The newer generation of tablets don't really provide anything new in terms of functionality. The two I have do everything that I need them to do.
  • If the 'market' is static then thats a fall in share if its growing then its static or slower growing. Phones were pretty useless for other than phone use till the larger screened versions turned up (my phone is for calls and as a modem mostly, the screen is as big as needed for phone use).

    Windows tablets seem to be around and cheap but they a) run windows and b) are short on ram to run windows.
    If a desktop barely boots windows7 on 1gb and then takes 10 minutes to start word is windows8 going to be accepta

  • Now that the tablet market is starting to reach saturation and it's clear that tablets are not going to destroy laptops, can we get back to making good laptops? My 17-inch laptop is 8 years old and I opted to upgrade it rather than replace it because all of the new 17-inch models are either too bulky or don't have a respectable resolution for the size of the screen and price being charged.
  • The tablet market isn't really dead until Netcraft confirms it.
  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @01:00PM (#48697415) Homepage Journal

    Anyone who thought that tablets were going to cannibalize the entire PC sector were delusional at best.
    There was no way in hell this was going to happen.

    Yes, for a small segment, mainly those who can get away with cheap, lightweight laptops, a tablet was probably a better fit.

    But for any sort of power use, or business productivity? There's no way in hell a tablet was EVER going to replace high-end laptops and workstations. The form-factor was just too rigidly circumscribed and limited.

  • People keep exaggerating everything saying something is going to explode or crash. Enough already.

    The tablet market exploded because they were new and people wanted to have one.

    Now they do. They've entered the ecosystem of stuff we own but it isn't taking anything over.

    I mostly use mine to watch movies while I web browse on my laptop. The tablet sits there, playing a movie streamed from my laptop harddrive or netflix and I am happy.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @03:20PM (#48698793) Homepage

    My wife has an iPad 3. no reason to replace it as it does everything perfectly for her. it's fast, it has a nice screen, the battery lasts forever. Mine is the ipad 4 and it works perfectly.

    When am I going to get upgrades? when those break or there is a real reason to upgrade. My 3 year old Nexus 7 works perfectly for it's uses as well as my Surface Pro (version 1) that I use at work. No reason at all to replace them as they all still work and all still do the job.

    In fact the surface pro 3 is a joke as it's the exact same specs as the 1 maybe if they made a quad i7 that boosted up to 4ghz came with 16gb ram and had a door that I could open to replace the battery and upgrade the SSD.. I'd buy a new one. But the exact same i5, screen, ram and SSD in the new one is 100% MEH.

    In fact the Pro 1 is better than the 3. I can install linux and OSX on it if I choose to (I dual boot Win8.1 and Ubuntu) Cant do that on the 3 so it's inferior.

    They need to make tablets cheaper and break easier if they want people to buy new ones ever year. Nice fast tablet at $199? I'll buy a new one yearly. but at $699 (or $1499 for the surface) It's not going to get replaced until I really need to.

  • by shilly ( 142940 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @04:24PM (#48699285)

    Nerval apparently doesn't understand the difference between relative and absolute, or they'd know it's possible to shrink as a percentage while growing in absolute terms. This isn't what's happening here, but iPad sales are certainly not collapsing, and iPads are really quite an important component of the market
      http://www.statista.com/statis... [statista.com]

  • by saccade.com ( 771661 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @11:30PM (#48702001) Homepage Journal
    A comment on the linked story notes Flurry is only counting cellular activations. This ignores the majority of tablets that are WiFi only
  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Wednesday December 31, 2014 @04:04AM (#48703083) Homepage Journal

    Look, some genius "analyst" has figured out that people don't buy ten tablets per person. Next up: The food market collapses because people do not increase their daily food amount constantly.

    This fixation on "growth" as if by magic everything would grow indefinitely is the primary evil in our world today. I've seen perfectly healthy companies with good revenue and solid profits being closed because they're not growing to the amount the corporate owners wish for.

Thrashing is just virtual crashing.

Working...