Quitting the game: low tablet sales cause major manufacturers to give up on the market

Quitting the game: low tablet sales cause major manufacturers to give up on the market
The tablet market has been tough for the past few years. Back in 2010, the iPad invigorated it and Android slates started popping up, filling every tier. However, standing in the awkward position between a large smartphone and a PC, the tablet usually suffers from neither being as portable as a handset nor as productive as a laptop. So, users either see no reason to upgrade theirs for long periods of time, or just prefer not to use one altogether.

With the demand dropping steadily, manufacturers reduced their portfolios, increased refresh cycles, and, as seen in our current example, some even decided to quit the market altogether.

Asus, for example, is expected to ship less than 3 million tablets for the whole of 2016. As a result, the company has shifted its focus to more niche applications, and has moved manpower away from tablet manufacturing to VR, AR, and smartphone R&D. Acer, known mostly for budget devices, has also decided to limit its production, while MSI, a brand well-known for high-quality laptops, has given up on dabbling in the tablet scene entirely.

On the flip side, 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrids are still enjoying a slow but steady growth. No doubt, Microsoft's re-designed Windows 10, which was developed to look and feel the same on desktop and mobile alike, helps in driving consumer interest. And, of course, Apple's iPads are still going comparatively strong, despite many questioning the decision of Cupertinians to launch the gargantuan iPad Pro and its somewhat expensive, separately-sold Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard accessories.

source: DigiTimes



1. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

4. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

He will be wrong eventually seeing that the only reason tablets are failing right now is because apps haven't matured for the enterprise segment yet. Most apps are made by amateur studios with limited resources. Once the enterprise segment learns where and how to use tablets for specific purposes, it will take off again.

9. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

FinalFlash .. See this is why it will fail badly.. because it will be useful to only specific people or niches.. What made tablets a massive hit earlier was only because our phones screens were very small back then .. 4-4.5 inches was the standard , so tasks like reading a book , watching videos, movies wasn't very enjoyable... now 5.5 inches is the common standard and it has already eaten market out of 7-8 inch tablets.. ( mass sellers ) because it can handle these tasks quite well.. There is no use for average person to go for tablets anymore.. and for productivity and business oriented people a laptop will be far better than any tablet ever will be.. Though Windows Tablets like surface 3 and 2 in 1 hybrid windows laptops have a very good chance of becoming a success but their problem is they are very expensive still.. They need to bring down that level of performance and quality of a hybrid at 300-400 $ for mass adoption ...

10. Acdc1a

Posts: 477; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

We have a winner! I do have a 2 in 1 windows device that took over my laptop but it's strictly for business applications I can't use on Android. For my casual web browsing and even online purchases I use my phone. 5.5" is a minimum for me but as long as I have this size I'm not gaining much by having a tablet.

2. ebilcake

Posts: 1231; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

This is what happens when you overwhelm/flood the market with too many s**te low end tablets, large manufacturers are just a guilty of this, if not more so. There isn't enough business for them all.

3. Bm888

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

that critic guy.. maybe hiding under the *sand now ^_^

5. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Windows for me if I ever get a tablet.

6. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Its true, that tablet user has no compelling reason to upgrade but the same scenario is true for hybrid tablet as well. How many people here upgrade from Surface 1 to Surface 2 to Surface 3 to Surface 4? Or Surface 1 -> 3 or Surface 2 -> 4. Not many. Therefore people still upgrade their most intimate device which is their phone. Most people have two or more phones. I have 5 phones and still buying.

12. buccob

Posts: 2980; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

the difference here is that Hybrid Tablets usually tend to be more productive.... Even though I bought a tablet for myself, I do want the upcoming Asus Transformer 3 Pro... and I think THAT is the way to go... On the other hand, I bought a tablet for my wife and she enjoyed it and used it for both business and personal entertainment... It really goes down to each person. But in general I think the future will be a complete merger of Tablet and Ultra-portable computers...

14. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I like my tablet because I have master its productivity apps. Besides, if I need to log into server resources it would still require remote desktop even with my Windows notebook. So, Android tablet suits my need, its super light. Its battery can last me a full day no problem.

7. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

if tablets, then ipad hate apple? go microsoft android tablets are nothing but a good white box for kids

8. ebilcake

Posts: 1231; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

MIcrosoft app store is still s**te though.

11. Acdc1a

Posts: 477; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

The $50 Kindle serves as a Netflix and Kids gaming device for my kids. A market this does not make though.

13. adi90

Posts: 554; Member since: Dec 21, 2015

The demand for tablet decreased as they were not as addictive as a smartphone and not as productive as a laptop. Otherwise for browsing, gaming experience, reading a tablet is much better than both smartphone and laptop. But someday in the future laptop will be replaced by tablets when their processing power will increase.

15. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I agree with you. Be it Windows tablet or Android tablet. Lighter device is always great. I know many are handicap with an Android tablet so to each his own. I have a Dell 7140 which come with Windows 8.1 and I own an Office 365 subscription. I upgraded its SSD and do a dual boot with Remix OS. This should theoretically give me the best of both OS, Windows 8.1 and Android. However, I don't always carry it because its still heavy compare to my Samsung Tab S 8.4 LTE which I use as a Phone and a Tablet. A pouch and a mini Bluetooth ear piece is much more portable to me and I am 100% productive. My boss can pass me any task and I would be able to complete it with my Android Tablet.

16. alumoyo

Posts: 392; Member since: Aug 26, 2013

That's what happens when you employ a "race to the bottom" marketing strategy. The netbook story repeating itself.

17. llk171

Posts: 95; Member since: Mar 31, 2013

Android manufacturers did a crap job with tablets. I purchased the new LG tablet from T-Mobile that was just released in June. Not only does not not have a light sensor, which is a complete joke, the touch response is rubbish. In fact, my x year old ipad mini 3 runs circles around this 2016 device.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.