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Subplot of the day: have users realized tablets are unnecessary?

0. phoneArena 23 Apr 2014, 22:44 posted on

Today has been one of the rare days where we got big announcements from both the Android world and the Apple world. This morning, we finally got a look at the new OnePlus One Android smartphone (phablet?), and then this evening Apple announced its Q2 earnings which (mostly) exceeded expectations. But, there was an interesting subplot behind both stories: do tablets really matter?...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 22:49 6

1. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Well, my Nexus 7 is used by my three kids and each one has their own profile - I no longer use it - thanks to the power of Android. Meanwhile, I now use one device, a phablet, a Coolpad 9976A, and my Nexus 5 just collects dust. Probably should sell it...

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 00:26 2

23. 0xFFFF (Posts: 2962; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


That is what my phones are as well -- expensive dust collectors. A tablet is like a nice easy to read phone that doesn't interrupt me with calls and texts :)

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 04:15

37. Kamehameha (Posts: 44; Member since: 21 Apr 2014)


The problem with large screen tablets has been the introduction of Haswell. 11" super small notebooks that can do everything a tablet can, has a keyboard for productivity, has software that's quite productive and weigh just a kilo. The only problem was battery life, but Haswell put that nail in the coffin.

TLDR; iPad's biggest competitor isn't Android. It's the 11" Macbook Air.

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 02:45

55. 0xFFFF (Posts: 2962; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


Haswell may give you a low power notebook with good battery life. But that notebook is huge and heavy and clunky compared to a tablet. An 8" tablet weighs less than 1/4 of a kilo and is nice to hold for reading, surfing the web, watching videos, etc.

For me, a notebook is a huge hassle to deal with I am not typing something substantial. I just don't see these two devices as competing. I do things on my S-Pen Samsung tablet -- like drawing with a Wacom pen -- that would be clunky to do on a notebook. This is why Wacom makes digitizer tablets, Cintiq, etc.

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 22:51 1

2. AfterShock (Posts: 2799; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


I agree for the most part..others will after Applee releases a bigger iPhone.

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 22:53

3. Jason2k13 (Posts: 642; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


I mainly just use my galaxy tablet at home, in bed or when i travel. The rest is using my phone.

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 22:55 4

4. KillerKeyboard (Posts: 307; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)


If you'd ask me, another factor is it's because people already with tablets are content with their old ones and less likely to pull the trigger if a new version comes out. Having a functional unit is enough which performs the basics. It's not like a smartphone where people can brandish them for having the latest. Tablets don't get that same effect. But hey... who's asking me? no one! :D

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:43 3

12. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


took my wife 3 years to upgrade from her original ipad

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 01:59 1

32. Cicero (Posts: 348; Member since: 22 Jan 2014)


My wife still had the first ipad. And still long thinking to replace it. It is only for the ios version update. I still use (or not so big time) the nexus 7 2012. My daily driver is the S4 and is enough for all activities.

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:02 8

5. GreekGeek (Posts: 763; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)


tablets without true multi screen functions are useless (which is a pain to do on smartphones), glad I have my Tab Pro 8.4 with me all the time

When I browse the web, there is always a video that plays in the background and this has become a habit of mine lately so, yeah, cant live without tablets

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:09 1

7. Miracles (Posts: 483; Member since: 31 Aug 2013)


Yup can't live without my tab pro 8.4 either.....now my laptop's collecting dust somewhere 0_0

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 00:27 4

24. 0xFFFF (Posts: 2962; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


TabPro 8.4 is a great tablet -- perhaps the best tablet ever made so far.

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:05 4

6. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


I have ALWAYS been saying that there is NO reason to buy a tablet!

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 06:39

44. magnanimus (Posts: 291; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Well, not absolutely no reason. For instance, I got the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition to use in class. I literally dont use paper anymore. All my notes are digitalized and synced to a cloud if my data ever gets corrupted. So, there are some logical reasons

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 07:43 1

47. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


I would get a ultrabook for that. Doesn't take any more space in the bag, much more functionality and a nice keyboard.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 16:04

52. remtothemax (Posts: 233; Member since: 02 May 2012)


your preference still doesn't nullify his reason
the table is a pretty good interface for making hand written notes and drawings

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:22

8. J1919 (Posts: 31; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


Interesting arcticle. Personally, while I can see the appeal of a Tablet I just don't think it makes any sense. I'd honestly prefer just having a big phone (no more than 6 inches though, I feel like the LG G3 might be perfect depending) and a Notebook.

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:27

9. tettech (Posts: 58; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


I've been trying to find many reasons to purchasing a tablet, but I can see myself leaving it tucked away in the drawer. A 5-inch smartphone and a laptop work best for me. I haven't found a middle ground between them for a tablet.

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:38 4

10. hurrycanger (Posts: 1091; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)


I enjoy using my 7" tablet.
What I use it for:
- manga (I don't like zooming in and out and moving around all the time when reading manga, and that's what happens on a phone, including the Galaxy Mega 6.3)
- anime
- books
- browsing
- gaming

Sure it's unnecessary. It's not like I cannot live through a day without using a tablet. But hey, it does a lot better than smaller devices, especially the 4.5" or smaller smartphones. Why compromise when you have the extra money for it? xD

A little bit off topic, but 10" tablets are not for me at all. Too big, and too heavy for a "mobile" device. I rarely use it on the go because it's just... inconvenient. Besides, holding up a 10" tablet while taking a dump feels very uncomfortable. And when I'm uncomfortable, I cannot take a dump.

* (I just sold my 10" Asus tf300t a few weeks ago and bought a Kindle Fire HDX.)

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:44 1

13. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


ok, does your tablet make phone calls? Why own a tablet and a smartphone, when they can become one?

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:54 1

18. renz4 (Posts: 227; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)


well it depends on the user. personally i like my phones to be phones. mainly for calling and texting. i'm not even install any games on my phones. while i do browse the internet using my phone i prefer to do it on my 7 inch tablet. for android gaming i do it all on my tablet. and for sure i don't want 7 inch phone like asus fone pad. even 6 inch is still too big for me for a phone.

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:57

19. hurrycanger (Posts: 1091; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)


Well, I had the Galaxy Mega 6.3 for a few months. So yeah, it was the "they can become one" to me, as my 10" tablet gathered dust during the whole time.
And no, I don't even need my tablet to take phone calls. 7" is too big as a phone to me, and it would never fit comfortably in my pocket (my Mega 6.3 did). I want my phone to sit comfortable in my pocket and to be ready for me to pull out any time I get a call.

I've also mentioned what I used my tablet for. Watching anime is much better on a bigger display (and I stop at 7" cuz bigger tablets are too heavy --> uncomfortable to hold). Browsing the web on a 7" is also a lot better than on anything smaller than that. As for manga, I dare anyone to enjoy manga on a 5" or smaller smartphone, lol. It's just... no good.

So now I'm back to where I was over a year ago, a small/average size smartphone with a 7" tablet (I had the Nexus 7 2012). It just works for me. :D

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 00:32

26. joey_sfb (Posts: 2894; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


My Samsung galaxy 7.7 and 12.2 do make phone call and its equip with multi sim so I can use ussd code to determine whether my phone or my tablet receive the call.

yes! I am geek.

posted on 26 Apr 2014, 05:27

59. ncarlosmiguel (Posts: 206; Member since: 14 May 2013)


My G Pad and S4 mini. Perfect tablet size and perfect phone size = best combination ever. LOL

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:42 4

11. joey_sfb (Posts: 2894; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


I use my tablet more than my notebook pc. I read a lot in bed. Anyway to each their own I guess.

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:50 2

15. sarb009 (Posts: 286; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


I do the same

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:45 1

14. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


The same thing I can say about smart watches...redundant tech. A seven inch screen smartphone does everything I need to do. Why spend extra cash for redundant tech?

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 00:06 1

20. bestmvno (Posts: 142; Member since: 07 Mar 2014)


A smart watch is definitely not redundant tech, but whether or not it will appeal to the masses is yet to be determined. There are certainly specific uses for them for instance smart watches could cause the phasing out of GPS watches such as the garmin (forerunners), and polar brands. It also makes simple tasks such as checking the weather, or who that text was from a bit more convenient.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 00:30 1

25. 0xFFFF (Posts: 2962; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


I'm one of the ones who is not convinced that a smartwatch isn't exactly like 3D television, i.e. technology looking for a real market need and failing to find one.

I find it's relatively easy to check the weather -- look outside. What's on my phone or tablet is rarely more accurate than what's outside :)

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 01:01 2

27. joey_sfb (Posts: 2894; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


I watching my upcoming spider man in 3D. People here are very opinionated.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 01:57

31. 0xFFFF (Posts: 2962; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


There is some interesting 3D technology -- I was impressed with Avatar in 3D in the theatre. But the market failure of 3D at home demonstrated that 3D is a niche technology. That is more what I am saying about smartwatches -- not that they have no use, but they are more of a niche technology that may not make it mainstream.

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:51

16. vincelongman (Posts: 1141; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


I have a Windows 8.1 Hybrid
So its a tablet and laptop
I use it in tablet mode when watching youtube, browsing reddit
I use it in laptop mode when browsing the web, gaming, and doing work

posted on 23 Apr 2014, 23:51

17. rkoforever90 (Posts: 78; Member since: 03 Dec 2011)


I prefer an 10-11 inch windows 8 tablet with keyboard over android / ipad. waiting for surface pro 3 hope it will be much slimmer and lighter than suface pro 2

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 00:10

21. 0xFFFF (Posts: 2962; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


I find it's just the opposite. It's more enjoyable to me to look at email, surf the web, read, use apps, etc., on my 8" tablet than any of my phones, even the Note 3. For me, this seems to be the perfect size. I think this is one reason I'm done paying big money for phones -- I just don't see the value proposition.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 00:10

22. Lauticol (Posts: 195; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)


Since I got my HTC One I almost stopped using my laptop! I do all the browsing in the phone and just turn the desktop one when I want to download big files.
I'm considering buying an ASUS VivoTab Note 8. I find the 8-inch form factor perfect, plus it has 10 hours of battery life, full Win8.1, and an active stylus that can be useful in college!

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 01:37

28. Apoorvtheman (Posts: 42; Member since: 25 Jun 2012)


My Xperia S serves me well even after 2years of rough usage
There is no reason to buy a tablet as your big screen smartphone can do all those tasks, tablets are for kids whose parents don't want them to use smartphone traditional pc is the best for other uses and there is no use to strain your eyes by reading on tablet .reading on tablet is a waste for eyes

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 01:42

29. Chris_Bakke (Posts: 202; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)


The device list I'm wanting to amass is getting bigger

Already own: Kindle Paperwhite, ASUS 16" laptop, Samsung Galaxy S4

What I want: Razer 14" laptop, Nexus 8" tablet, and maybe a smaller phone still undecided on that one though, and the whatever the successor is the the Nokia Lumia 1020.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 01:53 1

30. Jobayer (Posts: 96; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)


Michel H. making quality posts since forever !!!

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 02:01 1

33. Elfmonster (Posts: 50; Member since: 23 Dec 2013)


I work now exclusively on tablets at home, using SwiftKey and two thumbs on my favorite device ever (Nexus 7 2013), and with a solar Logitech keyboard paired with my 8.4. I will never go back to Mac, PC, Word. All that junk (for me, a non-power user) seems like the Day Ages, like the tape-powered computing days or something. But I could totally convert to a 6-inch phablet once I can get a good one to run pure VoIP calls. That's my dream, actually. I salivate for that future.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 02:03

34. Elfmonster (Posts: 50; Member since: 23 Dec 2013)


Interesting article, by the way.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 02:17

35. alumoyo (Posts: 161; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)


well IDIOT ANDROID MANUFACTURES PLUS NOKIA seem bent on killing the the tablet market with their 5Inch and 6Inch phablet monsterphones. They couldn't get the tablet right, so figured they'd just destroy the market altogether.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 05:33 2

39. Suo.Eno (Posts: 168; Member since: 17 Feb 2013)


"They couldn't get the tablet right"

Nope you got the picture wrong. Just as the article points out; mobile tech got better to smaller scales, that's all.

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 08:57

56. alumoyo (Posts: 161; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)


Agreed, mobile tech did get better to smaller scales but - but the point I was trying to push was that they drove more at the 7 inch as a more pocketable "niche" to try and compete with the 9.7 ipad. Remember the first Galaxy Tab - its major selling point was that it was more pocketable than the full ipad. Samsung's immediate response to the ipad was NOT the same size: the 10.1 Galaxy Tabs only materialized a bit later. The problem then arose, as the article correctly points out - as smartphones also got gradually bigger. But I do think the 7 inch tablet was there only because initially the manufactures simply couldn't match the ipad - it took some time for them to get there.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 06:36

43. magnanimus (Posts: 291; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


This made me laugh I dont know why :D

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 03:48

36. GoVinci (Posts: 16; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


With smartphones getting bigger, tablets are becoming a redundant piece of hardware. Tablets are designed for specific purposes. Smartphones may be smaller but it can do what tablets can (albeit in a smaller space), and more. Besides, portability is king. :) Just my two cents.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 04:56

38. Astoni (Posts: 495; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Its always nice to have a tablet but i don't really use my 4th Gen Ipad that much anymore :p

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 05:35

40. csoulr666 (Posts: 88; Member since: 04 Nov 2013)


I think what really lead to a downfall in the Tablet market are dirt-cheap tablets......... More than three-fourths of people I know bought very cheap tablets just to show off they have one, all of those devices stopped working or lagged like hell within the first six months.
I have never owned a tablet just because I couldn't find any way it would complement my lifestyle.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 05:50

41. Suo.Eno (Posts: 168; Member since: 17 Feb 2013)


Most people here aren't getting the crux of the article and being purely subjective to bias.

To me as an Android user, tablets regardless of which OS/platform are not yet the proper keyboardless full fledged Win laptop that can really make me own one as an OTG PC solution. Whatever Intel Haswell or Bay Trail ones available now, the user end ROI just isn't there not because of computational/batt life compromise but because of Win 8 still hitting and missing on the kind of properly touch optimized apps necessary for me AND are still badly matched RRPs against small budget laptops. And alternatives such as Ubuntu Touch or whatever other Linux distros planned are as usual will be years late.

So what we have now is; we >sacrifice< some of our OTG computing tasks, adapt down to just simple forms of editing and make do in this case larger screened smartphones or phablets let us negate the use for lugging along something larger that happens to run on the same OS + ecosystem. It's still an ongoing process for tablets overall and again for users like us it still is a lot of compromise of what we can actually put through.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 06:08

42. damokles (unregistered)


To be honest - I don't really use my iPad mini / 3 Retina that much. Just if I'm leaving country to abuse free WiFi and stuff. I used to take it with me when I travelled to work, but the bag and the added weight every day didn't get my liking after several weeks

My combination is iPhone 5S & Macbook air 13".

posted on 26 Apr 2014, 03:19

57. MobileGuru (Posts: 78; Member since: 18 Jan 2014)


The macbook air 13 explains it :D I have a macbook pro retina 13 and hardly use my gs4 now.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 07:10

45. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I wouldnt say they are useless.

People with big families will see an immediate benefit. I wish I had just 1 tablet...4 kids in the house....right now 1 has a smartphone....the other two have 3DS's...the last one is stuck with nothing.

Also helps when you are a reading family. Instead of my daughter spending her Barns n Noble gift cards on 3-4 paper back books...she probably could have bought 2-3 times that. My library is going all digital soon, already replaced a handful of books with eBooks. That I can read anywhere. Can fit hundreds of books on a phone or tablet.

Reading is alot better on a bigger screen. Playing games also.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 07:28 2

46. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2000; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


A tablet is a bonus to a smartphone and a laptop. But not a necessity. The world could do well without tablets. I use my ultrabook more than my Nexus 7,

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 09:33

48. tokuzumi (Posts: 272; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)


While I agree the phablets are cutting into tablet sales, I don't want a 5.5-6" phone. That's way too big for me. I wish more OEMs would make a Moto X sized device. I want the device I carry around to be portable, without having to buy cargo pants. I also like using my tablet to play games, because it offers better control, since the chance of your touch being interpreted in the wrong way is reduce, as the controls are larger.

At some point, we will reach a tipping point, and phones will get smaller again. Phones used to have their own battery "bag" you had to carry around, and got down to small devices like the Moto Razr. With providers starting to do away with subsidies, sticker shock is going to require phones to either be made with cheaper components, or be reduced in size to bring the costs down to a more palatable amount. Although, the One Plus One may turn that argument on its ear.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 10:55

49. chocowii (Posts: 327; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Find me a tablet that can do HEAVY or has the full features of Excel, Powerpoint and Photoshop. If there is, Ill drop my N7 FHD any day sooner.
Well, iOS needs iTunes and iTunes need PC or Mac.
Android tablets, though seldom, need PCs to root their devices.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 13:10

50. saiki4116 (Posts: 350; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)


For me, No matter what, Tablet does not replace my phone because of mobility and convenience and it wont replace my Laptop for browsing, I can just fly through 10-20 tabs just like that, but still I enjoy using my Tablet(nexus 7) for reading Reddit,News,Youtube, Casual gaming

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 13:52

51. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1003; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


I have the original Nexus 7 and I dont use it as much anymore. I use my phone (S3) more than the tablet because The tablet is only good for when Im on vacation or just because its there. Once I buy the Note 3 or Note 4, I wont need the Nexus anymore. I plan on giving it to my youngest son because the tablet he has (Original Kindle Fire) is getting old.

Other than the Asus PadPhone thats coming to AT&T, I cant see people buying tablets as a must have anymore.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 20:28

53. palmguy (Posts: 247; Member since: 22 Mar 2011)


Still rocking my HP orphanaged 2011 Touchpad with dual booting webOS to ICS Android.

posted on 24 Apr 2014, 21:15

54. Planterz (Posts: 756; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


Is my LG 8.3 "necessary"? No. But I certainly enjoy it. Just like I enjoy a Belgian abbey ale (Piraat or St. Bernardus Abt. 12 are my favorite - La Fin Du Monde is great too), or eating at a good restaurant once in a while. Some things make life more enjoyable. Only for a few people will a tablet be "necessary". For many a tablet won't be enough, and a laptop is required. For others, their smartphone is enough. But for many, a tablet is a toy, convenience, or luxury. The capatilist market is overflowing with "unnecessary" things, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't exist. The fact that the tablet market it thriving should prove that the consumer base doesn't think they're irrlevent.

posted on 26 Apr 2014, 03:23

58. MobileGuru (Posts: 78; Member since: 18 Jan 2014)


Intially i was using my GS4 more than my Dell Studio XPS 16 laptop primarily due to the insane lag im experiencing on my laptop as it's reaching its end-of-life. I have since bought a macbook pro retina 13 and been using it more so that my GS4 now.

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