This week, Apple for the first time in a long time updated line of tablet computers introduced a budget 9.7-inch iPad and shut down production of the iPad mini 2 and iPad Air 2. Over the past few years the tablet market has changed a lot and mostly for the worse, as sales of the devices continue to fall. In the fourth quarter last year, IDC reported that tablet shipments were down 20% year on year, and according to Strategy Analytics, the index was halved.
You can argue about how weak the overall market (not to mention the fact that specifically defines the device as a tablet), but at least Apple forecasts that tablets will Eclipse the PC did not materialize. Two years ago, CEO Tim cook said that the need for personal computers disappeared. He expressed confidence in the fact that instead of PCs and laptops came powerful tablets such as the iPad Pro. When people begin to use them, said the head of Apple, “they will come to the conclusion that they don’t need anything else except the phone.”
However, sales of tablets continue to fall. The popularity of such devices has suffered for a number of reasons. Among them is the fact that users simply do not update the device with the speed at which Apple expects.
“Many still continue to use iPad 2, says senior IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani TechCrunch. – Many still have the original iPad mini and iPad Air. Until recently, Apple had supported them. People are loyal to these devices and believe that they are as good as in the beginning”.
On the one hand, users are not used to change the tablets as fast as smartphones – that inspires consumers almost at the level of studens through upgrade cycles. There is also a simple fact — we are protecting the device and try not to carry them with you every day, and many users simply leave their devices at home and get it when it comes time to watch the news.
“There are no significant innovations types of flexible screen or 4K panels, says Strategy Analytics senior analyst Eric Smith and so really hard to get buyers switch devices, as it was in the last few years.”
Smartphones with large displays “consume” the sales of tablets, limiting the need for device much larger, because the size of many of the phones now are in the range of 6 inches. At the upper end of the conflict spectrum – devices-transformer with touch screen Windows 10, which took market share from tablets, along with the fact that Chromebook sales have begun to dominate the educational market, which tablet manufacturers once considered the key option of their use, analysts say.
“When consumers began to use the tablets, they realized that the capabilities of devices are limited compared to PCs, said Mikako Kitagawa of Gartner. — Is a restriction in terms of wearing the devices, as they are too bulky”.
Thus, some users refused the regular replacement of devices, and many others simply settle for the two gadgets instead of three. And as phones are becoming larger, and PC — more like tablets, the gap between them continues to shrink.
Of course, tablets are not doomed. The company continues to ship tens of millions units for the quarter. But until the next revolution by Apple and others, the company will have to reduce our expectations for sales.