Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  25 Sep 2014

INFOTECH: What’s Up with Tablet Sales?


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When iPads first came out, they were widely applauded as causing the possible demise of the PC. But it seems that there has been a definite turnaround, said Christopher Riley, CEO of notebook and accessories retailer, The Notebook Company.

Riley said that when tablets hit the world, they were seen as a cheap and reliable computing device for the average user, rather than the old PC, which people thought had seen better days.

After a few years of strong growth for iOS and Android tablets - and a corresponding decrease in PC sales - the opposite is now true. PC sales are up and tablet sales seem to be diving.

However, according to Riley, the tablet slowdown shouldn’t really be a huge surprise – and this is because they have hardly improved beyond relatively superficial changes in size, screen resolution, and processor speed.

“What has happened is that the initial market for tablets has now been saturated. Remote workers have them – even grandparents have them. People acquired them as Sonos controllers, for just one example. Numerous families have them for reading.

“The bottom line is that people who want tablets now have them. Additionally, it seems the consensus is that there is no need to upgrade because they still adequately perform their different tasks.”

Businesses and consumers are once again buying PCs and, interestingly, Mac sales are on the rise, year-on-year, as well - according to Techcrunch.

Another negative for tablets is that businesses are being forced to upgrade their older PCs as Windows XP is no longer supported.

And here comes a real reason why tablet sales have cooled off: because, when purchasing a new PC, the main consideration to choose a PC as opposed to a tablet is fairly straightforward: if the user is doing typing work regularly, then he or she will need a keyboard, larger screen and – of course –the old stalwart Microsoft Office.

“It will be interesting to see what pans out over the next couple of years”, said Riley.

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