Best Buy CEO says tablet sales are "crashing", hybrids are gaining steam

Best Buy CEO says tablet sales are
Various studies and research has shown that tablet sales are in decline. No one is quite sure exactly what the reasoning. It could be that tablets are something of a luxury, and those with the disposable income to buy a tablet, already have done so. The CEO of Best Buy, Hubert Joly has some thoughts on the matter as well, and he thinks that part of the issue is to do with laptop hybrids.

Joly even went so far as to say that the tablet market was "crashing", but he did eventually temper that choice of words. It seems the word "crashing" was meant more as a relative term, compared to the incredible growth tablets saw when they first hit the market. The biggest issue Joly sees with the slowdown in tablet sales is that there is really no defined upgrade cycle for a tablet. With smartphones, users tend to upgrade every two years or so. Laptop upgrades happen every 5-7 years. But, it can be hard to convince tablet users to upgrade. 

The other part of the issue is that PCs have been gaining steam. Joly says that Microsoft discontinuing Windows XP support has actually helped to spur PC sales, and many of those are with the new laptop/tablet hybrids. And, unsurprisingly, if a customer is going to buy a hybrid, they aren't then going to also buy a tablet. 

It's unclear how companies will deal with this, but part of it is likely in how many tablet contracts Verizon added this past quarter, because that gets users into a replacement cycle. 

source: Re/code



1. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

I love my Nexus 7 but if I had to choose between that or my Note 3 I would always pick the Note 3. Only reason I got the Nexus was to satisfy my crack flashing habit with the latest Android releases.

19. schinnak

Posts: 116; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

This is really stupid. really - how is this guy even a CEO? Tabs may be declining - true. But not coz of hybrids. There are very few hybrids and none are doing well. Tabs are declining coz smartphones cover up pretty much everything a tab can do and people dont need another device doing the same stuff. To prove my point, just Look at the trend - smartphone screens are getting bigger and tabs are getting smaller. If you have a good smartphone with a decent screen size, you dont really need a tab.

20. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

I'm on my second hybrid, and with a few exceptions I think the concept rocks! That being said, you're definitely on to something with phones replacing tablets; I bought a 6" Lumia 1520 3 months ago, and I find myself using it over my tablets (hybrid and 7" Samsung that came with my tv) 90% of the time for casual browsing, reading, etc.

21. 12Danny123

Posts: 87; Member since: Aug 18, 2012

Well. The surface pro 3 and other tablet hyrbirds are selling well according to the website. Hybrids clearly attract a lot of people. Especially students like me. Who want versitility.

2. jjjsong

Posts: 76; Member since: Dec 27, 2011

Hmmm how can this not be obvious to these market analysts? Tablets were more of a trend thing that people pick up just for the fun/entertainment factor since it's well accepted that tablets have very low productivity and using the on screen keyboard is a pain compare to physical keyboards (even for chatting).

3. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Apple is still selling 15+ million iPads each quarter. I give it another year and a half before the tablet market really starts to go down.

25. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

they do so because their phone is small. Watch the ipad mini's and things like that start to decline once they get a 5.5in phone. Currently for mac it is three stages, iPhone for play, ipad for play+ more content usage (office, business use, games) then you have the mac pc for computing tasks. For androids what do they have? tablet and phone. This was last years trend, spend 600 on a s4, then turn around spend another few hundred on a oversized phone. Waiting for updates that make it more than just a consumption device. Most have a laptop. I have a few tablets, androids, got them on a fire sale, less than 100 for each. But even after playing with the galaxy tab 10.1 for 3 weeks now, it simply cannot compete to my 250$ 11.6in Lenovo tablet/pc win 8.1 machine. When you have hybrids that cost the same as a tablet, but the tablet does less what do you think people will choose? Considering the tablets are a huge hit among late teens/20's who are mostly in school. When they see a $500 tablet 10in or a 12/13in $500 pc they can actually school its a no brainer. I mention school cause tablets are not allowed in our department, but my 11.6in win8.1 tablet is because its a real pc. That alone has help push hybrid sales in our class by 15 to-date, with 10 of them choosing something like my setup.

4. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

well i did just get a Surface Pro so that i could sell my 17" Laptop and build a Gaming Rig but i still intend on getting the Nexus 8.

5. cncrim

Posts: 1586; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

I try sell all my tablet for those hybrid, it is pc powerhouse and tablet at the same time. I found it is more convience, tablet only nice for surf the web but phone the day big enough to replace tablet.

6. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

hybrids are gaining steam? Baloney

7. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3125; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Yes Virginia, hybrids are on the way up because older people such as myself prefer a full Windows OS with the portability of a tablet but more importantly, a real chiclet keyboard. Throw in a Bluetooth mouse and we're set. Sorry Apple and Google, for real work in the real world, you're just not there yet.

8. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

There is NO device that can do it all, just sayin' This news is nothing but a Microsoft propaganda. People from all walks of life (regardless of age) wants a tablet. Can you say the same thing with hybrids? nope........... probably they might say ''Why the hell would I need that thing?, it's too effing clunky''

13. Jinto

Posts: 436; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

12" tabtop with9 mm isn't chunky

22. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

"There is NO device that can do it all, just sayin'" Both my hybrids have...

26. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3125; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Sounds like another butt-hurt Android fan who can't admit to themselves that the Chromebook is nothing but a web browser with a keyboard. ANY x86-based Windows tablet can "do it all". The keyboard is just a bonus. When an Android tablet or Chromebook has the capability of running legacy desktop apps, connect to all kinds of peripherals and be as secure as W8, then we'll talk. In the meantime, go play with your evil pigs.

9. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

Thanks Doctor Obvious. OBVIOUSLY they are declining. Tablets have a much longer replacement cycle, with fewer advances with each tablet release. Less pressure on the consumer to upgrade, where as with smartphones, a new phone is a new and better phone.

10. Luuthian

Posts: 332; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

Was bound to happen once the productivity kings finally got things in order. Microsoft dropped the ball initially but items like the Surface 3 will continue to grow in popularity since they offer so much in a proper sized packaged. And following that, if they can just start matching other companies in pure apps, we may see MS come and steal some thunder out from everyone else's feet. History has proven again and again that it's the versatile OS that wins out in the end... Not generally the most elegant. Going to be interesting to see Google and MS duke it out as time goes on.

11. skymitch89

Posts: 1452; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

Other than the fact that tablets are, or at least used to be, fairly expensive; I used to not want to get one because I saw no need for one because I had a laptop, desktop, and a smartphone. Now that it's about time to get a new laptop and my desktop isn't working, I'm looking into getting a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet like the HP Split x2. I originally wanted the Surface Pro/Surface Pro 2, but found out that I could get just as good if not better for less ($700+tax for the HP Split x2 vs. about $1200+tax for the Surface Pro/Surface Pro 2).

18. Furbal unregistered

The new asus yoga-type laptops are interesting and specced very nicely.

12. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Pretty much all the tablet platforms have stagnated and the app stores -- all of them -- are terrible. For instance: "Apple’s App Store design is a big part of the problem. The dominance and prominence of “top lists” stratifies the top 0.02% so far above everyone else that the entire ecosystem is encouraged to design for a theoretical top-list placement that, by definition, won’t happen to 99.98% of them. Top lists reward apps that get people to download them, regardless of quality or long-term use, so that’s what most developers optimize for. Profits at the top are so massive that the promise alone attracts vast floods of spam, sleaziness, clones, and ripoffs. Quality, sustainability, and updates are almost irrelevant to App Store success and usually aren’t rewarded as much as we think they should be, and that’s mostly the fault of Apple’s lazy reliance on top lists instead of more editorial selections and better search. The best thing Apple could do to increase the quality of apps is remove every top list from the App Store." One very big reason that tablet sales have tanked is the problem with apps and app stores. There are other reasons as well, but unless the app/app store issue is fixed, tablet sales will continue to drop. As capable phones become more inexpensive, the same thing will happen there as well.

14. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

There market for both. What goes up must come down. I always carry a tablet in my bag. Notebook not so much. Software keyboard are getting better and help me to input text faster.


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

I can certainly understand why, iMean, why would i buy an iPad when an iTouch does the same thing (in the exact same dull way)??

16. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

iPod Touch* Usually I don't say anything about your comments, but this has got to be one of the dumbest comments you've ever posted. I can't even fathom how one can compare an iPad to an iPod Touch, especially since the biggest reason why is due to a larger screen. Smh.

17. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Ironic your point versus his. His is that there is little to differentiate them other then size/volume. Then yours is, that size/volume is the defining separating reason. ☝


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

OMG, someone with good reading comprehension; I love you. Personally speaking, I think he's spends too much time staring at that huge screen on his iTouch :)

24. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

If you buy a tablet for web surfing and watching video you probably do not need a new one for years. If you buy a tablet thinking it is a portable PC you will be disappointed in its lack of power and hassle of on-screen keyboard. So then you look for something else like an ultrabook or some type of hybrid. In the end for all but the lightest uses you need at least a good laptop.

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