Then came the phone, followed by the laptop, then people got cocky and send ‘hey! Let’s create a bridge of some sorts for both a laptop and a phone to meet, we’ll call it a pill, nope, I got, we’ll call it the tablet’.
Did you ever fancy a tablet?
And so when tablets initially came out together with their brother from another mother – the iPad, everyone fancied one. I mean it was portable, it could receive and make calls and it was extremely lightweight compared to the hunky laptops we used to have in the system, plus a bigger screen as compared to phones. Yes, this was indeed the invention of the moment and it should have been onward. Fast forward a couple of years into the future and now according to data released by IDC, tablet sales have been steadily declining for years.
Did Apple cause this?
Of course, the superpower, Apple, managed to increase its market share slightly in the last quarter, though this is because of low sales across the board — Apple’s overall sales remained roughly the same. Now if even Apple is struggling with sales when it comes to the iPad then this begs the question: is the tablet on its way out?
Are we the cause?
Honestly, this isn’t breaking news. People have been naturally and slowly nudging the tablet off the market because of how much patronage they give to it; the tablet has become a thing of luxury and not of necessity.
Because its original intent and purpose which fostered its creation that is, to bridge the gap between the laptop and the phone, is fortunately or unfortunately a gap that has steadily been closing, with the advancement and improvement in cellular technology and laptops in general. For a first, phones aren’t that small anymore and can basically do what a laptop can do if not almost all. CNET and TechCrunch and other organizations have already declared the destiny of the tablet in the near future, predicting the worst.
The Tablet’s Kryptonite
Truth is it’s the same people who helped create this piece of tech who have created the kryptonite to deal the tablet this deadly blow. While Apple’s sales are holding steady, Amazon has seen a spike in its tablet sales, jumping up to second place, replacing Samsung just behind Apple. Nevertheless, the overall numbers paint a bleak picture for tablet manufacturers. One or two companies may be holding steady or even growing, but the bulk of consumers are dropping off the tablet bandwagon fast.
The sad part is that Android tablets haven’t had significant support from manufacturers or from app makers, and that’s left them in sort of a limbo. Holding the belief that the rise of the tablets would have it more engaged but these things don’t usually follow the trajectory we think they should. If anything, it forced PC makers to offer more tablet-like experiences in smaller-form factors. If this was football that would be a swift counter-attack after soaking so much pressure.
The honest truth is it wasn’t because of the function that people went in for tablets, that wasn’t the core of its bedrock, it was the little perks it gave a user; the bigger screen and laptop – like manner of use. Once those things were eliminated it found itself wanting. Unlike phones, it isn’t necessarily a need to purchase a new brand or version of a tablet because you could pretty much update your OS and keep up with the times.
Maybe people have been calling time on its lifespan but it may yet still have some fight in it. Sales are dipping, the figures are there to prove it. These facts, however, don’t mean tablets have been rendered useless. To a lot of us, we’d think twice about getting a tablet, and so the concept is a bit obsolete already in our minds but tablets are still smaller and lighter than laptops. They’ll likely continue to be, even as laptops evolve. They’re also still bigger than a phone and better at mimicking standard computer functions.
Maybe the tablet’s days are numbered, but no one will say it didn’t serve us well when death finally gives its blow.
Submitted by: Kweku Diaw
Image: Anomaly (@anomaly)