Market research firm, IDC, shows tablet growth, including the iPad, Mini and competing Samsung devices, is on a downward spiral.
Shipments from all tablet makers increased a mere 4.4 percent for the full year and suffered their first-ever year-over-year decline in the fourth quarter, slipping over 3 percent.
To give some perspective on previous tablet growth, shipments in the fourth-quarter of 2013 had surged 28% year-over-year!
The tablet demise
Smartphones do it all – for now
Anything a tablet can do a smartphone can do – but probably more conveniently.
As screens on smartphones have been getting larger, consumers are realizing this device has most of the same features and can perform many of the same tasks a tablet can, particularly a phone with a 5- or 6-inch screen. Although the line blurs between smartphones and phablets, this doesn’t necessarily mean consumers won’t buy a tablet, but they seem to be scaling back on how much they are willing to pay for a new model.
Tablets make great hand-me-downs
Tablets have a longer useful life than a cell phone. When a user gets a new cell phone, the old phone goes into the desk drawer, where it is rarely re-deployed to be reused or recycled. A new tablet however means the old tablet goes to another member of the family for continued use.
The ever-evolving design factor
The newer tablets appear closer in design and function to laptops than they do to smartphones. Tablets are becoming multi-functional and innovative.
The best example may be the Microsoft Surface. Put a keyboard on a Surface and voila! It becomes a more powerful IT device.
Why is Samsung in more trouble than Apple?
It all comes down to overall sales. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus release shot Apple sales up sky-high, increasing a whopping 30 percent. Unfortunately, Samsung’s overall sales fell from a year earlier.
Apple might escape the market’s recent stall unscathed.