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

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?...
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59 Comments

31. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 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.

16. vincelongman

Posts: 5646; Member since: Feb 10, 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

17. rkoforever90

Posts: 417; Member since: Dec 03, 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

21. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 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.

22. Lauticol

Posts: 404; Member since: Jun 25, 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!

28. Apoorvtheman

Posts: 46; Member since: Jun 25, 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

29. Chris_Bakke

Posts: 246; Member since: Jan 23, 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.

30. Jobayer

Posts: 167; Member since: Feb 22, 2013

Michel H. making quality posts since forever !!!

33. Elfmonster unregistered

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.

34. Elfmonster unregistered

Interesting article, by the way.

35. alumoyo

Posts: 391; Member since: Aug 26, 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.

39. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 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.

56. alumoyo

Posts: 391; Member since: Aug 26, 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.

43. magnanimus

Posts: 565; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

This made me laugh I dont know why :D

36. GoVinci

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 13, 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.

38. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

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

40. csoulr666

Posts: 116; Member since: Nov 04, 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.

41. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 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.

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".

57. MobileGuru

Posts: 82; Member since: Jan 18, 2014

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

45. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 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.

46. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 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,

48. tokuzumi

Posts: 1843; Member since: Aug 27, 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.

49. chocowii

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 30, 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.

50. saiki4116

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 31, 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

51. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 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.

53. palmguy

Posts: 974; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

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

54. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 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.

58. MobileGuru

Posts: 82; Member since: Jan 18, 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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