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It’s not iPad: tablets die as a class

Last year the worldwide tablet market declined by 8-10% in comparison with 2014. Sales of iPads Apple has reduced the eighth quarter in a row. For the quarter, which ended December 26, Apple sold 16.1 million tablets by 5.3 million less than the same period last year. But the problem lies not in iPad — stagnation is going through the entire tablet market, as the three-year period of explosive growth has ended.

In Russia, according to analysts surveyed by Oborot, sales of tablets in pieces fell to 30-33% to 6 million units. When it suffered most of all iPad models from the top segment. Does this mean the “death” of this segment of the market – or only temporary reduction as the manufacturers will not add new functionality and new capacity?

In Russia the General trend of reduced interest in tablets has morphed and economic crisis. Tablet, convenient for reading and watching movies, – not a necessity. Acquiring refuse in the first place, noted in “the Messenger”.

That’s why the drop in sales was so fast. Still 2014 in the Russian electronics market is experiencing a record penetration level of tablets. According to the estimates of “Svyaznoy”, then for every 3 sold smartphone had one tablet, while globally this ratio was 5:1. The global figures to Russia “came” already in the 1st quarter of 2015, when 1 tablet had already sold 5 smartphones. Further demand continued to fall, despite the fact that retailers are trying to save the sale, quickly shifted to the budget B – and C-brands. In 2015, tablets were the only category of electronics that do not rise. The average cost of the device on the Russian market, according to “Euroset”, even decreased by 1%.

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Small positive dynamics was observed only in the budget price segment. Played a role here promotions in which the retailers and mobile operators trying to lure consumers, almost gave cheap tablets when you buy something more serious, said analyst Mobile-review’s Eldar Murtazin. In the end for such devices, with an average price of about 3600 rubles accounted for about 35% of all sales in the market. At the time, as the top segment (iPad and Galaxy Tab S) in units amounted to only 3.9% of the total.

“The crisis exacerbated this situation, as the tablets are not goods of first necessity”, – confirms the head of “Yandex.Market” Pavel Alyoshin. According to Yandex.Market, fall in consumer demand to tablets leads to the fact that less and less stores are willing to keep them in range. And if before tablets offered every other computer shop (51%), now only 40%.

The trend in the decline category has been more than a year, and prerequisites for changes yet, Alyoshin said. Before tablets accounted for 18.7% of orders of computer hardware, and now only 13%. Same situation with “Yandex.Market” in the stores. Previously, 21% of all transitions in the category “computer equipment” were associated with the tablets and now it is only 14% — and this proportion continues to fall.

Smartphones killer tablets

In addition to the crisis, there is a more global reason for the fall in demand for iPad and other tablets. It appearance a 5.5-inch line of the “Plus” of Apple and the proliferation of Android-smartphone with a large screen. New devices, phablets, according to its functionality is already duplicated the capabilities of tablet computers. Perhaps, the tablet was only a temporary phenomenon in the evolution of digital devices that allowed consumers to “wait out” the problem of small screens and discharging of the battery in mobile phones.

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In the future phablets can replace not only tablet, but and personal computer, according to some analysts. They are often the “first screen”, especially for users from small towns and villages, and also for citizens of third world countries. Here an important role plays the lack of widespread broadband access to the Internet. Eventually, your smartphone is no longer just a communication device but an indispensable gadget, which paid for the account, make purchases, create content.

In ticks between tabletop and laptop

On the one hand, the tablet is inconvenient replacement tableto. On the other hand, and fully work on it, as on a laptop almost impossible. So functionally it’s a rather expensive toy, celebrated in “Euroset”. Remains only a demand for devices with 10-inch screen, but these tablets in their pure form are replaced by the transformers as a replacement for cheap laptops.

At the time, the laptops began to replace desktops just due to the growth performance of the devices: when in their slim fit a more powerful processor and more capacious hard drive than the PC, released only the year before.

But tablets, as a working tool, not caught, because post the power of a modern computer in them at this stage it is physically impossible, says sales Director of “Citylink” Pavel Komarov.

However, it is not only performance — now large manufacturers are able to offer a more powerful device of its predecessor. Experts believe that a tablet is developed not enough features, not enough programs that are tailored to the capabilities of this gadget. And great progress in this regard. All technical innovations, related devices are developed for a smartphone.

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“Sales will rise eventually, because “the new tablet” will not provide any radically new features that will breathe new life into this format, and hope will remain only in their fragility”, – predict in the “Positronics”.

Long life

Of tablets, compared with smartphones, longer service life: they are less likely to lose, break and drop into the water. “The tablet is rarely used by people in everyday life. The user takes it, for example, on vacation or at the cottage. Home tablet use in the evenings for surfing the Internet or watching movies. The likelihood that the tablet will be damaged mechanically, lower than that of a smartphone”, think in “the Messenger”. And artificially shorten the lifespan makes no sense, because users simply will not buy this expensive toy for a year or two.

As a result, the tablets do not need to change as often as the phones. The “old” iPad enough to read books, watch movies or play. But once the device breaks down, the consumer thinks — and if he needs a new one, if all these functions is able to perform its iPhone 6?

P. S. most Likely, death periduralna this segment is still not threatened, according to many analysts. Yes, the demand will decrease. The tablet will no longer be a replacement of the smartphone or desktop computer. He will occupy his own niche as a compact device for reading, watching videos, playing games, surfing and especially the study. The big screen is indispensable wherever you need to display large amount of information is provided with graphics or other images. So perhaps the future of the tablet – in school and University, as a replacement to a backpack full of textbooks.

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