Why are tablets no longer attractive?


2022 will not be the year of the tablet revival. Analyst firms are formal: in the third quarter the trend is downward. A big drop even.

At Canalys (which takes into account deliveries to distributors and not sales to consumers) a decline of 6% is mentioned. Stategy Analytics experts (which count final sales) estimate the drop at 16% in the third quarter.

Historically, however, this is an interesting quarter for tablet manufacturers, with the start of the school year giving a good boost, especially on the side of affordable models. This year, when inflation is in full swing, tablets are no longer a priority for consumers.

Already equipped

The first explanation for this lack of love is based on the equipment rate. Between 2019 and 2020, in the midst of the Covid crisis, households rushed to high-tech products. Thus, according to Statista, the equipment rate rose from 42% in 2019 to 56% in 2020 in France.

Also according to Statista, only 20% of tablets are replaced by a new one after two years. With a high equipment rate and a longer renewal period, it is therefore not surprising to see the market suffering. This is all the more significant in this time of component shortages. According to analysts, this market also suffered from the situation. Unavailability, the absence of certain references or limited stocks did not help.

Like the smartphone or Chromebook market, the tablet market therefore bears the brunt of the global economic and geopolitical situation. And the outlook for the end of the year is far from good. Mainly because of soaring prices.

Soaring prices

There is no inflation among the tech giants. In any case, they have no intention of absorbing it for the benefit of consumers. As costs increase, so do prices.

Symbol of this surge in prices, the iPad, the best-selling tablets in the world, are seeing their prices increase. The new models presented by Apple at the end of October 2022 display exorbitant prices.

The iPad Pro M2, which nevertheless incorporates many components from the previous generation, is available from 1,069 euros. The 10th generation iPad, presented as the brand’s most affordable model, is available from 590 euros.

Worse, older models are also seeing their prices increase. The iPad 9, launched at 389 euros, now costs 439 euros. Apple justifies these increases by the euro/dollar rate which would be unfavorable to it. Still, this surge in prices does not encourage consumers to buy. Especially since the smartphone willingly replaces a tablet for certain uses.

Changes of use

Over time, tablets have evolved from giant smartphones to more mobile computers. Thus, it is easier to use your smartphone for multimedia uses such as watching videos or playing games, whereas the tablet was preferred to it in the past.

In fact, the tablet is increasingly replacing the computer. Manufacturers have understood this and are selling their tablets more as alternatives to PCs. If the iPad Pro led the way, all the brands got into it. Samsung, for example, offers a Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra with a 14-inch screen!

These new uses therefore position the tablet as a different product from the one we have known. While the smartphone is the preferred device for leisure, the tablet becomes a working tool. It therefore costs more. Manufacturers therefore sell fewer tablets, but at higher prices. But until when ?

Apple iPad Air 4
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