Apple's iPads help the tablet market rise from the dead
Over the last five years, tablet sales have not been growing. There are plenty of reasons for this. As the size of smartphone screens continued to grow, fewer consumers felt that they needed a tablet to own a device with a large display. Additionally, most consumers don't plan on upgrading their tablets as often as they do their handsets. But this year something happened that made tablets a hot tech product once again-the global pandemic.
Apple leads the way as the tablet market sees life after five dead years
According to research firm Canalys, Apple was the top purveyor of tablets during this year's third quarter which ran from July through September. During that period, the company had a leading 34.4% of the global tablet market compared to 33.2% during the same quarter last year. Samsung's 20.4% share last quarter made it second followed by Huawei (11.5%), Amazon (11.3%) and Lenovo (9.1%).With people working from home, many opted to buy a tablet for their jobs. With COVID-19 forcing children to attend school from home, tablets were the device that most students used for distance learning. And during those hours when children were looking for something to occupy their minds, many parents turned to tablets to fill that void.
Canalys analyst Victoria Li says that tablets are the perfect device during times like these. She said, "Tablets have come back from the dead as they deliver the perfect balance of mobility and computing power at a wide range of price points during such a crucial time. Tablets are a natural choice for first-time PC users who want something uncomplicated and affordable to work with." She added, "Another contributing factor is the role these tablets play in the accelerated pace of digital transformation that big and small companies are undertaking. Connected tablets allow businesses to deploy endpoints at crucial stages in their customer and salesforce journeys, thereby helping these businesses ride the storm. Tablets will find themselves at the heart of every digital transformation going forward."
During Apple's fiscal fourth quarter (which is the calendar third quarter), Apple sold $6.8 billion in iPads which topped analyst's predictions for $6.14 billion in sales. The current quarter might also do well after Apple released a pair of new tablets last month. The 8th-generation iPad is the latest basic version of the company's slate. But this model was far out classed by the fourth-generation iPad Air which tablet buyers should buy instead of the current version of the iPad Pro. That's because the new iPad Air is powered by the same powerful and energy-efficient 5nm A14 Bionic chip that is used in the iPhone 12 series lineup. In addition, Apple moved the Touch ID sensor inside the power button allowing it to reduce the size of the bezels without using Face ID. The fourth-gen iPad Air is available with 64GB or 256GB of storage while the 8th-gen iPad can be purchased with 32GB or 128GB of storage.
According to TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who already knows what soup will be served in the Apple cafeteria on this date in 2023, we could see three different iPad models hit the market next year. Kuo expects that Apple will release a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a 10.2.-inch iPad, and a 7.9-inch iPad mini. The iPad Pro will reportedly be released in the fourth quarter of next year and will be the first to use a mini-LED backlight display. The latter will be sourced to Apple by LG Display. The screen delivers sharper and brighter images and also is more power efficient than the displays currently used by Apple.
While the iPhone gets most of the attention, Apple is working on bulking up its iPad line up and is doing so right as the tablet market is beginning to come back to life.