Would you still buy a slate if you were given the chance?
While every month we see new phones released by multiple companies, it’s the complete opposite in the tablet category. It’s gotten so bad that we only reviewed a few notable tablets last year, which made slim pickings for our tablet holiday buyer’s guide. It’s not just us though: several industry sources have shared to us that tablet sales have tanked, and tanked badly. Figures from IDC say that global tablet sales in 2015 was 10% down from the same period in 2014.
Less and less people are now buying tablets, and even tablet juggernaut Apple is feeling the pinch – the company recorded a growth of -24.8% for tablet sales in 2015, which means people have stopped buying new models for themselves.
What’s happening here? Well, the shrinking tablet market can be explained by two things:
Tablets aren’t essential gadget gear
While you can’t really function nowadays without a mobile phone, you can get along fine without a tablet. It’s not a critical part of a modern man’s electronic reportoire. It’s an item that’s nice to have, but not really essential.
People that do buy tablets tend to keep them longer before buying a new one
Most people nowadays go through upgrade cycles for their phones like crazy. Many of us are already planning our upgrade path when we buy a new phone, and will likely upgrade to a new model in six months’ time. That’s not the case with tablets – most people go years before buying a new tablet to replace their old one, because again, it’s not critical gear.
Is there still a market for tablets? Of course – but tablet sales probably won’t go back to the heydays when Apple’s original iPad was launched. Fewer top-tier manufacturers are even considering putting out flagship tablet models, though more and more companies are going with the 2-in-1 concept – apparently stuffing a detachable keyboard into the mix entices people to pick up a slate more than just a stand-alone device. Go figure.