Forrester Research: Tablet sales continue to slump
There is statistical evidence that the increasing saturation of phablets is playing a big part in the decline of tablet sales. No sooner did Samsung launch the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 last year, than the manufacturer's market share of tablet sales dropped by 5 percentage points. The launch of the 5.5-inch Apple iPhone 6 Plus took place just as Apple iPad sales declined. During last year's calendar fourth quarter, iPad sales dropped 18% year-over-year. Apple-connected analyst Ming-Ching Kuo expects iPad shipments to decline 30% this year, and other analysts expect other tablet manufacturers to show declines this year as well.
The only good news for tablet manufacturers is that these slates have increasingly become an important must-have device for the enterprise. More than half of employees questioned by Forrester say that they use tablets for work at least once a week. And if their company does not provide them with one, these workers are willing to use their own slate in the workplace. As it stands, 29% of companies do provide tablets to their employees.
Unlike smartphones, where new features and higher specs drive demand for upgrades every two years, tablets don't have the same rate of innovation. This makes it hard to get consumers to buy a new tablet when the one that they already own will do fine.