When the tablet market only started developing in 2011, everything looked very promising. In the beginning there was a lot of success for numerous brands but today we see the different picture: huge sales falls, market share cuts for many companies, and overall, a disappointing situation in the longer term. If we look at the report from IDC for the second quarter of 2016, we’ll see sales decreases in almost all companies.
Most manufacturers used the same means for reducing tablet prices as they used for smartphones because tablets were, according to many companies, simply big mobile phones. Except batteries and displays, all details were basically similar and looked identical. When iPad was announced and all big brands also decided to enter that market, they were very optimistic because this market sector was growing and expenses seemed to be small. The situation didn’t change until 2014, when the market got saturated and people refused to change their old tablets for the new ones.
Tablets are great for browsing the Internet, reading news and watching movies. Users end up in a situation where a tablet figuratively lives forever until it starts annoying the user or breaks.
Consumer behaviour of tablets’ users strongly depends on the price of the device. Those, who own the best models, prefer not changing tablets too often because there’s no point and benefit in that. In this sector of premium tablets it’s hard to determine their service life because it gets longer every quarter. For example, the main reason why users change iPads is because Apple doesn’t offer the latest iOS versions to older models. Plus, not everybody reacts to that as old tablet has the same functionality as the new one.
For big companies brand loyalty is a part of their strategy. They can’t build the brand on selling one product, customers must return for more of them. Only in this case all the expenses for marketing and advertisement will be justified. That’s the strategy of Apple and Samsung as well. But if Apple’s tablets are almost all top-class and expensive, Samsung also has low-end models.
Has anyone ever heard about the “perfect” tablet? Or about companies trying to create such device and revolutionize the market? Hardly. But at the same time we often hear that about smartphones, despite the fact that it’s a lot more competitive market. Tablets don’t attract such attention from manufacturers. And the result is obvious – this market sector transitioned from the growth stage to the fall stage.