Newsletter #173 Are Tablets Dying?

Posted on Oct 15, 2019, 8:40 PM

The first iPad was released in April 2010 - not that long ago really. It wasn't the first tablet but Apple made it cool, as they often have, and tablets were soon mainstream consumer tech.

Who wouldn't want one? They removed the need for bulky laptops and were ideal for consuming media such as photos, music and video. With the growth of Cloud Computing, they didn't need to have a huge storage drive which meant they could be kept slim and light.

Fast forward to pre-Christmas 2018: I was looking at some Web statistics for a customer and was slightly shocked at the results.

In 2012, visitors to this site on desktop computers were 87% of the total, mobile 7% and tablets 6%.

In Christmas 2018, desktop was 50%, mobile 42% and tablets 7%. The number of visitors on mobiles had increased incredibly but whatever happened to tablets?

Tablet sales are falling worldwide, according to 2018 figures from IDC research center. Also from IDC, in New Zealand, in figures released this month, people are more likely to be buying high end smartphones than cheaper models with less features.

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A couple of years ago I stopped using my iPad and it now sits unused beside my bed. The reason was, I had bought an iPhone 7+ and found that with my reading glasses on, it was as sharp and clear as anything I watched or read. And since I took my phone everywhere, the iPad was almost instantly superfluous.

Tablets have become more established, they're no longer the geek tech cool. When your kids and their grandparents now use tablets, they're no longer any sort of status symbol, in fact they may now be the opposite. PEW Internet Research found that a third of seniors owned a tablet and that was in 2017!

Tablet users no longer upgrade their tablets as regularly as technology advances have plateaued. Why bother upgrading for a tablet that's 5% lighter and a little faster when it normally sits in an office or at home?

But the real message here is the growth of mobile Web browsing, it has progressed at an astonishing rate, so much so that the majority of Website viewing is now on mobile devices.

You need to be checking how your Website looks on a mobile, not just a desktop, because that's what your customers are doing.

Best wishes

Alex Garden