Over the past couple of years, tablets have seen a massive decline in sales and interest from the general public. Even the behemoth that is the iPad that started off the tablet hype way back in 2010 has seen sales declining. But tablets are computer replacements right? Wrong. We have yet to see a tablet that sells for the price of a tablet that could genuinely replace your workhorse of a laptop or home desktop. Admittedly, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is the best tablet out there when it comes to replacing your daily laptop. But that doesn’t quite have Apple or Samsung’s marketing and therefore, hasn’t quite reached the deserved audience it should by now. Plus you’re looking to pay closer to $700-$900 for the Pro 3 for even the basic model which couldn’t stand up anywhere near to a $700-$900 laptop.
We wanted to answer the question “Why don’t we love tablets as much anymore?” as we feel that tablets are going out of favour with a lot of people and we just wanted to let you know why we thought this was.
Everyone Has Got One
One of the first things that Apple commented when they received questions about the decline in sales of iPads was that they’re a different type of device. They said that most homes or neighbourhoods in the UK and US have already got one therefore, aren’t looking to upgrade. It’s not like a phone where you upgrade every year or every 2 years, tablets last much longer. You’d be hard strapped to have a group of friends and none of them owns an iPad or any form of tablet in their home. The first reason that tablets are declining is that a lot of people already have one and don’t see the need to spend another $500 to get a new one that might be a little quicker and have a brighter screen.
Phones Are Getting Bigger
One of the biggest problems tablets face at the moment is that phones are getting bigger and bigger. The majority of people don’t want massive phones but when going out and wanting a high-end phone that can manage any task they throw at it, you’re looking at getting at least a 4.7″ iPhone, but more likely a 5″+ Android phone or iPhone 6 Plus. When people can use a phone that has a 5.9″ screen to view multiple apps a the same time, annotate on and view videos on, what use do they have for a slightly larger screen?
The App Ideas Have Run Out
When it came to iPads, something that Apple pushed was that it was tirelessly getting their top developers to work on their apps to optimise them for iPad and make them iPad-friendly. It’s worked as the iPad has by far a superior amount of tablet optimised apps over it’s biggest competitor in Android. In addition, when it first came out, the iPad offered up some great apps that only it could offer you. For example, pilots were using it as a touchable display in their cockpits, businessmen and women were using them as a quick way to show an image to people at a board meeting. However, as the years go on, we’ve not seen the iPad get used quite in the same way anymore. People are starting to use it for some basic image editing and creation of music, but it still lacks a little on a true app or reason to get that over a phone or a laptop.
We kind of touched on this before with the fact that everybody already has a tablet. However, it doesn’t help that there’s been really no innovation on tablets in the past few years. Take the iPad for example, since the original iPad, it is faster, thinner, lighter and has a better screen. For a lot of people, especially middle-aged people who aren’t bothered about those things and are happy to play simple games and browse the web on their old iPad, these progressions aren’t enough. The epitome of this was when Apple announced the iPad Mini 3 which would cost $100 more than the iPad Mini 2… for a fingerprint sensor. They had really run out of ideas on how to make this little tablet any better.
Imagine if the new iPad Pro came out and offered up some form of keyboard with it, offered up some incredible speakers, offered up a projector on the top of the device to project onto a wall, offered up the ability to view holograms? We haven’t seen anything innovative from Apple in years. They are too obsessed with copying Android and making things thinner and lighter. Admittedly, other than the new Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet, we’ve not seen any attempt really from Android OEMs to match the build quality and app marketplace of the iPad.
Windows 8 & 10 Peaked Enough Interest
Finally, something I think that people don’t really think about when they wonder why tablets have declined. Windows 8 came around and got people interested, it was a whole new look for Windows for the first time in what seemed like forever. It was a modern design, one that took Windows into the next generation of computing. Admittedly Windows 8 wasn’t great but by the time people had started thinking of just getting a tablet over trying to new Windows 8 PC, Windows 10 was announced and people wanted to see if that would improve anything. Even for the average person a new upgrade to their computer is a little exciting, offering up new features to play with, new customization options and new apps to try and work out how to use. iOS9 is the first iOS update in a long time where we’re actually a little excited to get it in our hands and play with it. Apple is too centered on revolution, Windows are working on true evolution.