Why Is Demand for Tablets Slowing?

Sunday, 27 Jul 2014 01:39 PM

By Greg Richter

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Touted as the next big thing in computing when it was introduced by Apple in 2010, the tablet computer has seen a recent decline in sales growth, CNBC reports.

The reasons are multiple, including the fact that people are able to do a lot with their smartphones that wasn't previously thought possible. Smartphone screens have gotten larger, and they are easier to carry around than tablets, even though tablet screens are shrinking, CNBC notes.

A couple of PC alternatives are cutting into tablet sales. Google's Chromebooks have batteries that last all day, and new hybrids can function as tablets, but have a snap-on keyboard to allow them to be used like traditional laptops.

Tablets were touted as a good laptop alternative for businesses, but many haven't been quick to adapt them for cost-saving reasons. Apple was even forced to enter into a deal with IBM to try to make them more friendly for the work environment, CNBC reported.

Apple's iPad may also suffer from its own lack of planned obsolescence. While laptops need to be replaced to keep up with new operating systems, the same isn't true of tablets. They also have a long battery life.

But some don't see an immediate demise of the tablet — especially with prices falling.

"They have hit price points that weren't imaginable two years ago," Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner, told CNBC. "They are getting down to calculator range. Why not have them littered all over your house?"

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