Opinion

The future of tablets

The future of tablets

I was reading this piece on Android Police about the slow demise of the Android tablet. While reading I realized that my own iPad Air has ben doing little more than sitting on my desk and gathering dust for the past year.

Back when the iPad first came out it made sense. It provided a larger canvas for things that the relatively small screens of smartphones back then weren’t suitable for and at the same time it was more portable and easier to use than a computer. This was pretty much Apple’s marketing pitch for the iPad, a device that sits in the gap between the iPhone and the MacBook.

With the passage of time, the displays on the smartphones kept getting bigger and laptops have gotten increasing smaller and lighter. Due to this, the gap that tablets once inhabited has turned into a slit. 

I am not the only one to think so. The demand for tablets has been decreasing consistently, and when I say tablets I mean iPads because there was never a demand for Android tablets to begin with. Apple seems to have realized that the average user doesn’t seem to want tablets anymore, which is why since the past year or so it has been convincing artists to get one, even launching a bigger version with a stylus. But even with all of Apple’s marketing push, the consumers have spoken; tablets just aren’t cool anymore.

The same is pretty much happening with smartwatches. Once again the Android side of the lake is drying faster but it’s only going to be a matter of time before Apple Watch sales start stagnating and eventually dropping. In fact, they already have.

Smartwatches have proven to be even more useless than tablets. While both have some use case, you can live without either and not feel like you’re missing out on anything. Again, Apple has caught on to this faster than anybody else, which is why the company is making a big push for the fitness aspect of the Apple Watch. The fitness area is on the rise and people will always be looking for ways to track their activities, and the best way to do that so far has been by something strapped to your wrist. The latest version of the Apple Watch added GPS so you no longer need to carry your phone around during workouts to track your movements. I’m pretty sure by next version Apple will figure out how to make calls from it as well using its own SIM card, making it completely independent of the phone.

The allure of the Apple brand and the fitness tracker aspect should keep the Apple Watch and thereby the smartwatch segment afloat for a few more years. As for the tablets I think the writing is on the wall. With smartphones getting more powerful by the day, we even use our computers less often than we used to, and you want us to buy this thing that is neither as powerful as a computer and not as portable as a phone? It just doesn’t make sense anymore.

Unrelated: How much would you pay for a 2013 iPad Air in good condition?

Image courtesy iMore.