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charlesarthur : tablet   93

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Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6 is its latest volley against the iPad Pro • The Verge
Dan Seifert:
<p>For software, the Tab S6 runs Android 9 Pie with version 1.5 of Samsung’s OneUI interface. It also has support for Samsung’s DeX interface, which provides a more desktop-like experience when using the tablet with a keyboard. The new keyboard attachment has a function key to launch DeX quickly. DeX can also be outputted to an external display using the Tab S6’s USB Type-C port.

In terms of size and features, the Tab S6 compares closer to Apple’s most recent iPad Air than the more expensive iPad Pro. But the Air starts at a lower price and has a much more developed operating system and app ecosystem than the Tab S6. As with most of Samsung’s high-end tablet efforts for the past few years, it’s hard to see why anyone would choose the Tab S6 over Apple’s options. We’ll have a better idea of how well the Tab S6 stacks up against Apple and Microsoft’s tablets once we’ve had a chance to put it through a full review, so stay tuned for that.</p>

External display likely coming to the iPad Pro in September with iOS 13, and filesystem access certainly, so not an advantage for long.
iPad  samsung  android  tablet 
17 days ago by charlesarthur
Why Mazda is purging touchscreens from its vehicles • Motor Authority
Bengt Halvorson:
<p>It wasn’t a decision that was hastily made, according to company officials. However, as they started studying the effects of touchscreens on driving safety (and driving comfort), it soon became clear what the priorities should be with this completely new system that makes its debut in the 2019 Mazda 3.

It started out by looking at actual times—the times spent looking away from the road to make a screen selection, and the time needed to refocus the eyes on something close versus the road ahead—and decided that it needed to home in on factors that reduced that time.

“Doing our research, when a driver would reach towards a touch-screen interface in any vehicle, they would unintentionally apply torque to the steering wheel, and the vehicle would drift out of its lane position,” said Matthew Valbuena, Mazda North America’s lead engineer for HMI and infotainment.

“And of course with a touchscreen you have to be looking at the screen while you’re for that reason we were comfortable removing the touch-screen functionality,” he added.

The head-up display that top trims of the Mazda 3 get is now projected onto the windshield. </p>

Pretty obvious really that touchscreens don't offer tactile feedback; the distraction factor is very high.
design  ux  tablet  touchscreen  car 
8 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Walmart readies low-priced rival to Apple iPad • Bloomberg
Matthew Boyle:
<p>Look out Apple -- Walmart Inc. is moving into iPad territory.

The world’s largest retailer plans to introduce an inexpensive, kid-friendly tablet computer under its ONN store brand, part of a broader redesign of its electronics department. The device will be made by a Chinese supplier and run on Google’s Android operating system, according to photos found on a database of wireless product applications filed with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

Tara House, a Walmart spokeswoman, confirmed the product is in the works, though declined to comment further. The price of the device, or when it will debut, hasn’t been disclosed.

Walmart’s device could bring some life to the sluggish tablet market, which has been declining for several years. Tablet users don’t buy new ones at the same pace as they replace smartphones, which have also grown in size and capacity, reducing the need for a larger device. In 2018 tablet shipments fell 6.2%, according to data tracker Strategy Analytics.</p>

"iPad rival". Wow, is it 2012 again? Android Police's take on this was "<a href="">Crap store plans crap tablet</a>".
walmart  tablet 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
Samsung breaks 19-quarter tablet decline to post 7% growth in recovering global market • Strategy Analytics
<p>Windows [tablet] shipments fell 4% year-on-year to 7.1m units in Q4 2018 from 7.3m in Q4 2017. Microsoft shipments increased 25% from the previous quarter on high seasonality and as a result, it has retaken its leadership position in Windows Detachable 2-in-1s with the release of the lower cost Surface Go and a refreshed Surface Pro all in the last half of 2018. This is the fourth straight quarter of year-on-year shipment and revenue gains for Microsoft.

Eric Smith continued, “Apple iOS shipments grew 10% year-on-year to 14.5m units in Q4 2018, pushing its worldwide market share to 26% of the tablet market. By growing double digits, Apple added 2 percentage points to its market share year-over-year. Apple is attempting to remake the computing market with more mobile iPad Pros for productivity while offering lower priced iPad slates for entertainment. The product mix tilted toward iPad Pro due to the launch of its newest products in that line and boosted ASPs to $463 this quarter from $445 in 2017.

"Meanwhile, Android shipments fell to 32.9m units worldwide in Q4 2018, down 6% from 34.9m a year earlier and up 35% sequentially. Market share fell 3 percentage points year-on-year to 60% as many branded Android vendors find it very difficult to compete on price in the wake of Apple lowering its iPad prices. The slate market is particularly sensitive to price and the Android segment is dominated by Slate models.”</p>

The market shrank overall, by 1%. That's not "recovering"; that's "stabilising". Tablets don't seem to be going away, but neither are they taking everything over.
tablet  apple  ipad 
january 2019 by charlesarthur
Google keeps failing to understand tablets • The Verge
Vlad Savov:
<p>Tablets, despite being proximate to both phones and laptops, are unique. To have a good tablet experience, you need an OS that is made specifically for that task. It must offer an intuitive touchscreen interface, like a phone, but it should also make full use of its greater screen real estate and higher spec ceiling. Apple’s iPad is, of course, the role model for how this is done. Apple has developed custom X editions of its iPhone chips for use in the iPad, taking advantage of the larger battery and better cooling of the tablet. The company has also dedicated major iOS releases to improving iPad functionality, even while the iPhone remains its most important product. That, together with a historic willingness among app developers to create iPad-specific apps, generates a distinct iPad-only user experience.

So long as Google keeps trying to cram its software for other platforms onto a tablet, it will continue to suffer the ignominy of failure. Android Wear on smartwatches, now renamed Wear OS, has been another instructive example of what should be a very simple concept: if you want to build the best possible version of any gadget, the software for it has to be designed for it. Someone at Google really ought to consult Microsoft’s long, abortive history of trying to slim Windows down just enough to make it fit onto mobile devices. (The Surface Pro 2-in-1s of today are good, but they’re still more laptop than tablet.) There’s also Intel’s spectacularly profligate run of pseudo-mobile chips that were just trimmed-down laptop and desktop processors.

The future of technology will be defined by more software specialization, not less.</p>

Google's problem is that Android tablets have been second in its priorities after phones (and then third, after WearOS), which has put them a long way down the pecking order for developers considering what to develop for. As Savov points out elsewhere in the article, too many Android tablet apps are poorly resized versions of the phone app - rather than being rethought for the bigger real estate of the large screen.
google  android  tablet 
december 2018 by charlesarthur
Working on an Android tablet, 2017 edition • Henri Bergius
Bergius is a startup worker and programmer, and uses a Google Pixel C tablet with its keyboard for all his daily work:
<p>So, why work on Android instead of getting an iPad Pro? I’ve actually worked on both, and here are my reasons:

• Communications between apps: while iOS has extensions now, the ability to send data from an app to another is still a hit-or-miss. Android had intents from day one, meaning pretty much any app can talk to any other app<br />• Standard charging: all of my other devices charge with the same USB-C chargers and cables. iPads still use the proprietary Lightnight plug, requiring custom dongles for everything <br />• Standard accessories: this boils down to USB-C just like charging. With Android I can plug in a network adapter or even a mouse, and it’ll just work <br />• Ecosystem lock-in: we’re moving to a world where everything — from household electronics to cars — is either locked to the Apple ecosystem or following standards. I don’t want to be locked to a single vendor for everything digital <br />• Browser choice: with iOS you only get one web renderer, the rather dated Safari. On Android I can choose between Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser that has been ported to the platform

Of course, iOS has its own benefits. Apple has a stronger stance on privacy than Google. And there is more well-made tablet software available for iPads than Android. But when almost everything I use is available on the web, this doesn’t matter that much.</p>
Android  tablet  work 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Global tablet shipments to decline 4.3% in 2018; Huawei to become 3rd largest manufacturer, surpassing Amazon • TrendForce
<p>“With the launch of new devices in the coming era of 5G, the tablet category will still help the brands build a strategic future, retaining their customer bases and becoming more influential in the global IoT network,” says Kou-Han Tseng, TrendForce notebook analyst. Therefore, major brands will not give up their tablet product lines, even at the expense of downsizing their entry-level product ranges. Particularly, Google continues the ambitions about its tablet business and Huawei expands fast in this segment, whose growth momentum jointly remains key to the overall performance of the tablet market. For 2019, TrendForce forecasts the global tablet shipments at 139.6m units, a YoY decline of 4%.

Amid the overall decline of tablet sales worldwide, brands tend to offer lower prices to retain customers and invest less in new tablet development. In contrast, Huawei appears to be rather positive in developing new mobile devices, including both smartphones and tablets. Huawei’s shipments of tablets for 2018 are expected to rise by over 30% to more than 14m units, with a market share of 9.8%, 2.6 percentage points up from last year. The impressive shipments will also enable Huawei to become the 3rd largest tablet manufacturer this year, surpassing Amazon.

Amazon’s growth momentum for tablet grows conservative as the brand shifts some focus to its smart speaker business. The company expects a fall in its annual tablet shipments for 2018, although it has been adjusting its product portfolio faster and increasing the share of its 8in and larger products. After three years of strong growth, Amazon is expected to record a more conservative shipment of 13.4m units this year, a YoY decline of 1%.

The leading tablet maker Apple has revealed its new 11in and 12.9in iPad Pro models ahead of the coming holiday sales in Europe and the US. However, its launch not long after new iPhones and the premium price tags, 25% higher than its ancestors, may prevent the new iPad series from achieving mass market success. As the result, TrendForce expects the iPad shipment to fall by 2% YoY, recording 43m units for 2018.</p>

The Pro tablets aren't intended to get "mass market success"; the clue is in the name. TrendForce excludes 2-in-1 PCs (such as the Surface genus?).
Tablet  2019  forecast 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Gartner, IDC were both wildly wrong in guessing Apple's Q4 Mac shipments • Apple Insider
Daniel Eran Dilger:
<p>The fact that Gartner and IDC were both so wrong about Apple's Mac sales is particularly shocking because Apple reports its Mac shipments every quarter, making it easier to refine the model that analysts use to make their sales projections. No other PC maker issues verified sales data every quarter, meaning there's no way for outside estimates to check their own math against reality.

If Gartner and IDC are that wrong about Mac shipments, their PC numbers are even more untrustworthy.

And of course, moving forward into fiscal 2019, Apple will no longer report its Mac and iPad unit sales each quarter. That means the final verifiable data we now have to challenge analyst estimates will be gone. The only way we will know that Apple isn't doomed is if it is still in business.

The direction of the market on a quarterly basis (in terms of unit market share and growth) will also be a huge question mark. The only way we will know that Gartner and IDC have unreliable data is that they've had unreliable data and insight in the past. After all, IDC once predicted that both Windows Phone and Windows Tablets would be hits that crushed the growth Apple's iPhone and iPad, without offering any actual facts supporting the idea either time.

It is pretty clear that the PC market has not been growing, even if the guesswork numbers from Gartner and IDC can't really be relied upon to be factual. But we also know that Gartner and IDC have spent the last decade <a href="">issuing gerrymandered data</a> to make it look like tablets—specifically iPads sold by Apple—weren't having any material, discernible effect on PC sales, undeniably to make Microsoft's Windows business look better than it was.</p>

DED's point (on the gerrymandering) is that the iPad did have an effect on general PC sales back in 2013, and arguably contributed to the fall in the consumer PC market that we've seen since 2011. It's pretty hard to argue against that: for many home users, an iPad really can do everything their older PC could. (So can their smartphone.) But of course, those who frame the debate win the debate - and as he says in the "gerrymandering" article, linked, by framing the iPad as "not a PC" both Gartner and IDC could suggest the iPad wasn't important.

Plus the fact that they always get Apple's "PC" numbers wrong isn't encouraging, given that Apple is going to stop releasing them.

Speaking of tablets...
apple  pc  ipad  tablet  gartner  idc 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Tablet market sees modest decline of 8.6% as slate and detachable categories continue to struggle • IDC
<p>Slate tablets accounted for the majority of the market with 31.6m units, down 7.9% from the previous year. Detachable tablets also declined, down 13.1% from the previous year, to account for 4.8m unit shipments.

"The detachable market has failed to see growth in 2018, a worrying trend that has plagued the category off and on since the end of 2016," said Lauren Guenveur, senior research analyst for IDC's Tablet team. "In October we finally saw the highly anticipated refreshes of Apple's iPad Pro and Microsoft's Surface Pro, as well as new products by Samsung and Google, which lead us to believe that the last quarter of the year will turn the detachable category around, at least for the time being. Increasingly sparse are new products by the top-tier PC OEMs as they remain more focused on their convertible portfolio, a move that will ultimately affect the overall trajectory of the detachable market going forward."

"The tablet market is more like the traditional PC market than ever before," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "Not only do these markets move in sync with each other, but the decreasing margins and overall decline, particularly in slate tablets, has led to the top 5 companies capturing a larger share as many small vendors have exited the space or simply treat the tablet market with a much lower priority. Even among the top 5, it is essentially Apple and to a lesser extent Samsung that continue to invest heavily in product innovation and marketing. This has helped the two companies to set themselves apart from the rest."</p>

Have a look at the numbers: Apple has over 25% share, and "others" - one suspects mostly cheap Chinese media consumption tablets, or perhaps a few for commercial applications - nearly a third. There's just no room for profit as the market contracts, squeezing harder even than the PC market.

Only Apple, Samsung and Amazon have a real reason to be there: Apple makes profit, Samsung sells its screens and reinforces its brand, and Amazon uses it as a trojan horse for its content offerings.
tablet  idc 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Tablet ownership is declining; millennials may be to blame • CivicScience
<p>In a survey of more than 269,000 U.S. adults, CivicScience found that tablet ownership has grown steadily since 2015, but peaked at the start of 2017, with 56% of adults owning a tablet. Since then, ownership has declined to 54% of U.S. adults and appears to be on a downward trajectory.

<img src="" width="100%" />

This downturn coincides with recent industry numbers. Apple, who still leads the market, along with most other tablet manufacturers, such as Samsung and Amazon, have all reported drops in tablet sales. Some analysts cite cost as a prohibitive factor driving down tablet ownership.

In fact, the survey found that tablet ownership is correlated to income. Only 46% of those who make $50K or less per year owned a tablet, compared to 65% of those who make $100-150K per year…

…When considering all age groups, Gen Xers appear to have the highest rates of tablet ownership, followed by Baby Boomers, then Millennials, and finally, Gen Z. Looking at the same tablet ownership graph, but only for the Baby Boomer population (55+), it’s clear that Baby Boomer ownership has stayed static since 2017.

However, the same isn’t true for Millennials (18-34), whose ownership rate has slid significantly since 2017 and is today closer to what it was in 2015, at the start of the survey.


Did lots of people get given tablets and then dump them?
tablet  smartphone  millennial 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
Chrome OS grows from underdog to attack dog • ZDNet
Ross Rubin:
<p>…at a time when only a handful of major companies (Samsung and Huawei) continue to pursue larger Android tablets. Google has apparently decided to step in with a version of its "desktop" OS. This buys Google a few advantages. First, when its circular-buttoned keyboard is attached, the Pixel Slate can switch from more of a tablet mode to a desktop mode. This is similar to what Surface can do, except Google can rely on a huge library of tablet-friendly (if often not optimized) Android apps.

Second, either mode can take advantage of the full desktop version of Chrome, an advantage over iOS (and Android). And third, Chrome OS' extensive history with mouse and keyboard make it a good match for a desktop mode when connected to an external monitor. There have been questions around the breadth of this need at least since Microsoft launched Continuum for Windows Phones, but it should provide a more familiar experience than, say, Samsung's DeX.

On the other hand, the Pixel Slate faces many obstacles. Among these are general continued softness in the general tablet market, Google's limited retail footprint and enterprise channels, and little awareness or momentum of Chrome OS beyond education, much less acceptance of it as a tablet operating system. A larger tablet, the Pixel Slate with its keyboard cover will cost about $800 with a Celeron, about the same price as the smaller 10.5-inch iPad Pro with an Apple keyboard cover (and $150 less than a keyboard-equipped 12.9-inch model).

It's less than a similarly sized Surface Pro 6 with Keyboard Cover ($1,060) although that device's minimum configuration includes a Core i5 processor and more RAM offset by Windows' larger footprint. So, all in all, the Pixel Slate is competitively priced, although not dramatically cheaper versus the main keyboard-equipped tablets from its main ecosystem rivals.</p>

Rather depends on its ability to persuade people that they want the minimalism of ChromeOS compared to the variety of iOS apps (includes Microsoft Office) or, well, full Windows. Works for schools, of course.
chromeos  tablet 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
Google Pixel Slate officially announced: here's what you need to know • Android Authority
Andrew Grush:
<p>It’s no secret the tablet market isn’t what it used to be. It’s hard to get excited about a tablet in 2018, but Google hopes to change that with its newly announced Google Pixel Slate.

The Google Pixel Slate is a Chrome OS-powered tablet that is also capable of transforming into a laptop using a keyboard dock. Essentially this is Google’s take on the Microsoft Surface.

There’s really only so many ways to design a tablet, and so there’s nothing particularly innovative to be seen here in terms of design. On the front sits a 12.3inch QHD LCD display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. You also get front-firing stereo speakers.

The Pixel Slate sports two 8 MP cameras, one above the display and the other in the top right corner of the tablet’s back. Using a tablet as a camera isn’t the most practical experience, though it’s certainly possible. Of course, the main purpose for the camera setup will be video calling.

At the top of the left edge, you will find a volume rocker, with a single USB-C port located near the bottom of the tablet. On the right edge of the Google Pixel Slate you’ll find a fingerprint scanner embedded into the power button. This is a first for Chrome OS devices.</p>

Google makes a tablet. That's brave. The thinking is more that it's a ChromeOS thing, isn't it.
google  tablet 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
Google Pixel Slate: rumoured specs, features, leaks, price, release date • CNET
Justin Jaffe:
<p>With one day to go until Google's launch event scheduled for Oct. 9, we've heard just about every last detail about the company's forthcoming Pixel and Pixel XL phones. And the rumors about a new convertible tablet also continue to pile up. 

The rumored Google Pixel Slate is said to include a front-facing and rear-facing camera with advanced camera technology, a fingerprint scanner and a new keyboard cover with a magnetic clasp and kickstand -- similar to Microsoft's Surface Pro, which was itself recently refreshed. 

The reports about the Chrome tablets have been preceded by an abundance of extensive, detailed information about Google's rumored Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL -- including photos and videos published by Russian bloggers and more photos and information gleaned from a Pixel 3 XL that was apparently left in the backseat of a Lyft. Google hasn't confirmed anything about any of these reports about the phones or tablet.

But the company has invited media to an event in New York City on Oct. 9. In addition to introducing new tablets, new phones and perhaps other devices, Google is expected show off a new wireless charging stand and the latest version of its Android operating system, known as Android Pie, which features new AR capabilities and upgrades to its voice assistant. </p>

Well, zero days to go until the event. I'm also fairly confident Apple will release invitations to its October event for whatever, just to annoy Google a little. Unless it wants Google to stew in the Google+ fiasco just a little longer.

Nice timing on that one, Google, by the way.
google  tablet 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
Use of internet, social media, digital devices plateaus in US • Pew Research Center
<p>The shares of US adults who say they use the internet, use social media, own a smartphone or own a tablet computer are all nearly identical to the shares who said so in 2016. The share who say they have broadband internet service at home currently stands at 65% – nearly identical to the 67% who said this in a survey conducted in summer 2015. And when it comes to desktop or laptop ownership, there has actually been a small dip in the overall numbers over the last two years – from 78% in 2016 to 73% today.

<img src="" width="100%" />

A contributing factor behind this slowing growth is that parts of the population have reached near-saturation levels of adoption of some technologies. Put simply, in some instances there just aren’t many non-users left. For example, nine-in-ten or more adults younger than 50 say they go online or own a smartphone. And a similar share of those in higher-income households have laptops or desktops.</p>

Notice that dip in desktop/laptop use, while tablet use inched up. Although I suspect that tablets plus smartphones have consumed that gap in PC use.

If that's continued in two years' time, it'll be a clear trend. Check back in 2020!
pc  tablet  smartphone  us  demographic 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Pictures leak of the “Google Home Hub,” Google’s version of a smart display • Ars Technica
Ron Amadeo:
<p>Google's big hardware event is coming October 9, and we're getting a clearer picture of what to expect from the show as the days go by. The event is promoted as the "Pixel 3 launch event," but the company's previous two hardware events featured five or more product announcements. Besides the Pixel 3, a Pixelbook 2 is a good option, and with the launch of Google's Smart Display software on third-party hardware earlier this year, it seems inevitable that we'll soon see a first-party Google Smart Display.

As luck would have it, today MySmartPrice has scored pictures of the "Google Home Hub," a product that is clearly Google's flagship hardware for its Smart Display software. The device has a 7-inch touchscreen and basically looks like a 16:9 tablet mounted to Google Home Max. Some of the pictures, which look like a leaked store listing, show a few more specs: 802.11ac Wi-Fi at 2.4 and 5GHz, Bluetooth, an "Ambient light and color sensor," a "full-range speaker for crystal clear sound," and "far-field voice recognition." The listing shows the display available in two colors ("chalk" and "charcoal"), with Google's traditional mute switch on the back and what looks to be a video chat camera on the front.</p>

How is a device like this any different from a mounted tablet with a good speaker?
google  tablet 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
The ‘post-PC era’ never really happened…and likely won’t • Tech.pinions
Mark Lowenstein:
<p>the growing number of portable PCs that feature touch screens and other tablet-like capabilities are eating a bit into tablet sales, particularly among the student set. The other personification of some aspect of the ‘post-PC’ area, I suppose, is the successful Chromebook line, which is more a reflection of the Cloud and near-pervasiveness of broadband connectivity.

It even appears that Apple doesn’t believe in the ‘post-PC’ mantra in the same way, given the steadily narrowing delta between the largest iPhone and the smallest iPad. Mainly, this is an effort to convince more users to have both an iPhone and an iPad, since I doubt that most users who have both would have a big phone and a small tablet.

So, the question is, what will change in 3 to 5 years? There will be tons of innovation of course, but I’m not expecting the average consumer or business professional to be carrying with them a dramatically different mix of device types or # of devices in the medium term. Even with pens that recognize and convert handwriting better and continual improvements in voice input, there’s still nothing that really beats the good ‘ol keyboard for productivity. And we’re still very locked into the Big Three of word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software. The main difference has been the move to the cloud, improved collaboration, and competitive products from Google.</p>

This is slightly disingenuous. Since 2013, iPads have outsold Macs by an average of nearly 3x every quarter. Sure, the replacement rate for Macs is probably lower than for iPads. However, we are in the post-PC world. Ask yourself when the last world-roiling program was launched first on a PC. The answer: 2010. (Dropbox and Spotify.) Since then, every important innovation has been on mobile.

We're in the post-music hall age, but not quite the post-radio age, or the post-TV age. But they've all being superseded in turn by more modern methods.
tablet  business  ipad  postpc 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple and Huawei flex their strength in a declining tablet market • IDC
<p>According to the latest figures published by International Data Corporation (IDC), the overall tablet market for Western Europe declined 10.1% YoY, shipping 6.3 million units in the second quarter of 2018 (2Q18).

Slates exhibited a degree of resilience in the commercial space, following strength in certain niche use-case deployments. However, market saturation, lengthening life cycles and a lack of innovation resulted in the ongoing sluggish demand on the consumer side, leading to an overall decline of 6.1% YoY. In terms of volume, detachables had a challenging quarter, declining by 23.3% YoY. As the market has become increasingly dominated by Apple and Microsoft, and consequently more premium-focused, the range of options available to more price-constrained customers has diminished, leading them to consider cheaper alternatives such as lower end convertibles or even traditional PCs. Furthermore, the announcement of upcoming product releases from the main players likely acted as an inhibiting factor on overall demand this quarter, as customers postponed their purchases in anticipation of these newer devices.</p>

Samsung hangs on there in second place, but it's down more than the market, while Huawei roared up into third place. It's only selling a third as many as Samsung (and a quarter as many as Apple), but it's definitely pushing hard.

Apple had a 30% share. And probably a 90% share of the profits. (To reiterate, these are the western Europe figures.)
apple  tablet  idc  europe 
august 2018 by charlesarthur
Microsoft Surface Go review: a little goes a long way • The Verge
Dieter Bohn:
<p>The Surface Go is a 10-inch hybrid tablet-laptop Windows computer. It’s just really small, honestly. That seems like an obvious point to make, but it’s the essence of what the Surface Go is: A very tiny Surface. I said in my last video that I have a soft spot for tiny computers. They’re just a little more convenient to carry around and the tradeoffs in performance are usually worth it for me. The sign of a good tiny computer is that you have to check to make sure it’s actually in your bag when you leave the house. And I have had to check several times — it weighs 1.15 pounds on its own.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is typing on the slightly-less-than-full-size keyboard. I found it only took me a few hours to get used to it, and I’ve been able to jam along without more typos that usual. It uses traditional scissor switches, which means that there’s good key travel. The keys themselves are slightly domed, which might help just a little with accuracy. The glass Precision trackpad is similarly good — just big enough so that you don’t feel cramped using it.</p>

Bohn really, really likes the Surface Go. Notable that Apple's offering 9.7in and 10.5in tablets: it's as if consensus is gravitating around 10in as the idea for the toaster-fridge form factor.
surfacego  microsoft  tablet 
august 2018 by charlesarthur
The best thing about Samsung’s exciting new tablet might also be a fatal flaw • BGR
Chris Smith:
<p>just like the iPhone X, the Galaxy Tab S4 will sacrifice the fingerprint sensor, a feature many people love on a smartphone or tablet.

Apple replaced Touch ID with Face ID, a secure 3D facial recognition system that’s a first for the industry. Samsung doesn’t have that luxury, however.

In lack of a 3D front-facing camera, Samsung will employ the Intelligent Scan feature that’s already available on the Galaxy S9.

In case you’re not familiar with that, that’s a mix between the iris scanner and facial recognition system that Samsung has had for years. <a href="">SamMobile discovered a video</a> from the official Galaxy Tab S4 firmware that plays when you’re configuring Intelligent Scan on the tablet.</p>

It's not as secure as Face ID, which means you'd want to go with a passcode/password, which is a retrograde step. I'm already interested to see what the second generation of Apple's Face ID is like; the first is pretty good, but there was a huge difference between the first generation of Touch ID and the second.
samsung  tablet  security 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
An invisible rating system at your favorite chain restaurant is costing your server • Buzzfeed
Caroline O'Donovan (where "server" means "waiter/waitress"):
<p>Ziosk tablets sit atop dining tables at more than 4,500 restaurants across the United States — including most Chili’s and Olive Gardens, and many TGI Friday’s and Red Robins. Competitor E La Carte’s PrestoPrime tablets are in more than 1,800 restaurants, including most Applebee’s. Tens of thousands of servers are being evaluated based on a tech-driven, data-oriented customer feedback system many say is both inaccurate and unfair. And few of the customers holding the reins are even aware their responses have any impact on how much servers earn.

Ziosk and Presto sit at the nexus of two major consumer trends: the idea that every product, service, piece of content, and interaction, whether encountered online or in real life, should be rated on a scale of one to five, and that these ratings in aggregate become an invaluable dataset, helping managers achieve growth and make money.

“It makes very literal the idea that the customer is always right, to the complete disregard of the worker,” Ifeoma Ajunwa, an assistant professor at Cornell's Industrial and Labor Relations School, told BuzzFeed News.

Technologies like Ziosk are attractive to the restaurant industry, which faces a rising minimum wage, because the tablets promise to make workers more efficient, and in turn, lower labor costs. But in interviews with BuzzFeed News, more than two dozen current and former servers described Ziosk as a source of financial and emotional anxiety, a vector of discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and an added layer to the economic and psychological precariousness that already defines restaurant work.

“When they introduced them, it seemed like a good deal for the customer. But as a server, it's just the worst thing ever,” said Sam Ellis, who worked as a server at a Chili’s in Texas. “That's all your job depends on, is those survey scores.”</p>
rating  ziosk  tablet  restaurants 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
Tablets and PCs set for modest 2.1% decline in 2018 as the industry finally starts to stabilize • Canalys
<p>“Consumer demand will remain weak overall,” said Dutt. “Components such as DRAM will remain constrained in the short-term, and vendors will pass most of the increased costs onto customers, driving up ASPs. But dedicated gaming PCs have emerged as a genuine hotspot in large markets, such as the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea, where eSports has helped to generate an appetite among younger consumers with disposable incomes who are willing to spend top prices for high performance. The consumer market is also more likely to see new brands challenging the likes of HP, Lenovo and Dell. Despite the sector’s weak performance, there are lower barriers to entry from a channel perspective compared with the commercial sector. Huawei and Xiaomi are already attempting to disrupt selected markets, but nether yet has a range of products or channel partners to trouble the incumbents.”

<img src="" width="100%" />

Despite a recent rise in iPad shipments, the tablet category remains in decline as consumers show a preference for smartphones as their primary mobile devices and rely on traditional PCs for more compute-intensive tasks. The category is expected to contract by almost 3% per year on average from 2017 to 2022, down almost 150m units from the market peak in 2014.</p>
tablet  pc 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Pioneering fingerprint technique helps South Wales Police secure drugs convictions against 11 people • South Wales Police
<p>On top of Morris’ links to the cannabis conspiracy, officers were able to prove he was also responsible for supplying huge amounts of ecstasy, a Class A drug, thanks to the innovative work of the JSIU [Join Scientific Support Unit].

Staff from the unit’s specialist imaging team were able to enhance a picture of a hand holding a number of tablets, which was taken from a mobile phone, before fingerprint experts were able to positively identify that the hand was that of Elliott Morris.

In another first for South Wales Police, they were also able to prove that he had almost £20,000 hidden in bitcoin accounts – the majority of which, Elliott admitted, was gained from his illegal drug sales.

In total, cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy worth around £36,000 and around £21,000 in cash, was recovered during the investigation.</p>
wales  tablet  fingerprint 
april 2018 by charlesarthur
Google gives up on tablets: Android P marks an end to its ambitious efforts to take on Apple's iPad • Apple Insider
Daniel Eran Dilger:
<p>Google's upcoming Android P release drops support for Pixel C, the company's last effort at building an Android tablet. While it once appeared that Google wanted to ditch Android and move to its web browser based ChromeOS, the termination of its last Android tablet follows Google's discontinuation last summer of Chromebook Pixel, the premium-priced laptop running ChromeOS.Google failed to make a dent in Apple's iPad business despite trying longer and harder than Microsoft's Zune attempt to rival iPods

Android P also drops support for all remaining Nexus branded devices. In fact, the next Android release only supports Google's last two batches of Pixel phones – which themselves did not sell well – indicating a rather dramatic scaling back of what was once supposed to be a vast array of hardware expanding into new directions to tackle Apple at every turn.

While things like Chromebooks and Nexus Player TV boxes were launched as experiments, Google's efforts to build a self-branded tablet (both to rival Apple's iPad and to show its own Android licensees how to build a good tablet) was always presented as a serious, strategic effort to conquer Apple's second largest iOS franchise.

Here's a look at why Google failed to make a dent in Apple's iPad business despite trying longer and harder than Microsoft's Zune attempt to rival iPods.</p>

Android tablets as a class have fared really poorly. Amazon is now the biggest-selling in that group, and it doesn't even run Google Play. Chinese vendors are exiting the market. And the Pixel C.. who's got one?
android  google  tablet 
march 2018 by charlesarthur
March 2017: Maybe Android tablet apps will be better this year • The Verge
Dieter Bohn, back in March:
<p>There’s a new Android tablet you can go and buy, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. <a href="">Here’s our review of it</a>, where Jake notes that apps freeze if they’re not in the foreground. Which is a good reminder: Android apps on tablets have never really been very good. They usually end up feeling like stretched-out phone apps.

Things have gotten better in the past couple years, but it’s still a problem. In fact, it has always been a problem. I wonder if anybody ever told Google that it was a problem and it should try to do a better job incentivizing developers to make apps that work better on tablets.

Oh, wait, somebody has.</p>

There follows a list of times when it's been pointed out since 2011 that Android's tablet apps really could do better. One concludes this isn't going to happen, if it hasn't happened in six-plus years.
android  tablet  apps 
december 2017 by charlesarthur
Apple plans new inexpensive 9.7in iPad for 2018, says sources • Digitimes
Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai:
<p>Apple is considering a new inexpensive 9.7in iPad priced at around US$259 for 2018, according to sources from related upstream suppliers, which added that the device should be able to attract more demand from price-oriented consumers, allowing Apple to maintain its present 10 million-unit tablet shipments a quarter.

With the new device, the sources expect the tablet market to witness a new wave of price competition among first-tier players including Samsung Electronics, Amazon, Huawei and Lenovo.

With the tablet market already becoming mature, Apple has been seeing weakening sales for its iPad series, while Android-based tablet shipments have also been declining. Most second- and third-tier brand vendors had already stepped out of the market, while China-based white-box tablet players had also shifted their focuses to other product lines after Intel stopped providing subsidies for using its CPUs.</p>

To be precise, the non-iPad market has shrunk for the past two quarters (per IDC) while iPad sales have grown for two quarters, but it's too soon to call a trend - though total tablet sales, including Windows tablets (by IDC's definition, ie "slates") have been falling for <em>12 successive quarters</em>. Given that, any sort of growth is good. If Apple is going after the cheaper players, that could drive some out. Lenovo has no business selling tablets: it's too small and doesn't make money on them.
apple  ipad  tablet  price 
december 2017 by charlesarthur
Tablet market declines 5.4% in third quarter despite 4 of top 5 vendors showing positive year-over-year growth • IDC
<p>The third quarter of 2017 (3Q17) closed with 40m tablets shipped globally, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Growing demand for smartphones combined with the lengthening replacement cycle of tablets and strengthening position of traditional PCs left the tablet market in an awkward middle ground that it has not been able to escape. Growth in 3Q17 declined 5.4% year over year, marking the twelfth consecutive quarter of annual decline.

"There's a penchant for low-cost slates and this holds true even for premium vendors like Apple," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "However, many of these low-cost slates are simply long-awaited replacements for consumers as first-time buyers are becoming harder to find and the overall installed base for these devices declines further in the coming years."

Meanwhile, growth in the detachable tablet market has been slower than expected as Apple and Microsoft are essentially the only two vendors supplying the category and other PC vendors champion the convertible PC form factor.

"In a recent IDC survey, owners of both convertibles and detachables stated they were far more inclined to recommend a convertible to another shopper than a detachable," said Linn Huang, research director, Devices & Displays. "Market momentum has steadily shifted away from the latter towards the former over the course of this year. The 2017 holiday season may prove to be a critical crossroad for the detachables category."</p>

Apple's iPad Pro and the Microsoft Surface (and some Samsung Tabs) are the only serious players in the "detachable" category; IDC doesn't include "convertibles" here (which are PCs which have a twistable screen so they can be tablet-like).

More to the point: outside Apple, which has grown for the past two quarters, and up 10% in this quarter, the tablet market is falling away - down by 10% in this quarter. Cheap Chinese OEMs are quitting the market, which is likely saturated; Samsung does lots of "get a tablet with our phone" offers; Amazon sells them really cheap; and it's hard to see Huawei and Lenovo making a handsome profit on them.
tablet  ipad 
november 2017 by charlesarthur
White-box tablet players turn to new markets for survival • Digitimes
Sammi Huang and Joseph Tsai:
<p>With first-tier tablet brand vendors' product ASP dropping, rising competition from large-size smartphones and prices for key components - including panels and memory - hiking, white-box tablet players are struggling.

Some white-box players have already turned to new market segments such as those for smart speakers, smartphones, car-use electronics, wearables, gaming and education applications.

Digitimes Research's figures show that Apple, Samsung Electronics and Amazon will be the top-3 tablet vendors worldwide in 2017, while China-based Huawei will be number four, surpassing Lenovo.</p>

Lenovo really is struggling to make things happen. PCs, smartphones, tablets - nothing is quite energising.
tablet  lenovo 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
Google is building a smart screen competitor to Amazon’s Echo Show • TechCrunch
Josh Constine:
<p>Multiple sources tell TechCrunch that Google is building a tabletop smart screen for video calling and more that will compete with Amazon’s Echo Show. The device could help Google keep up in the race for the smart home market after Amazon just revealed a slew of new Echos and as Facebook continues to work on its codename “Aloha” video calling screen.

Two sources confirm to TechCrunch that the Google device has been internally codenamed “Manhattan” and will have a similar screen size to the 7in Echo Show. One source received info directly from a Google employee. Both sources say the device will offer YouTube, Google Assistant, Google Photos and video calling. It will also act as a smart hub that can control Nest and other smart home devices.

Our sources say that Google previously was working on products with larger screens that would compete with full-sized televisions, but it’s now more focused on the Manhattan device. We’re told that the original target launch date was mid-2018. But due to the Echo Show there’s intense internal pressure to get this launched in 2017, though it may still end up released in 2018. That’s because there are a ton of moving parts to establishing the smart hub partnerships, plus it’s exploring the possibility of service partnerships with Best Buy Geek Squad and Enjoy for home installation.</p>

Seriously, what is the point of this? Just buy a cheap Android tablet, put it on a stand in the kitchen, you're done. If Google is this worried by every turn Amazon makes, it needs to do some strategic thinking.

Also, "Google was working on products with larger screens that would compete with full-sized televisions"? Isn't that Google TV, or Android TV, or whatever it's called this week? This is nuts.
google  smarthome  tablet 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
Smartphones are driving all growth in web traffic • Recode
<p>Smartphones are driving all growth in U.S. web traffic, while tablets and computer web access has declined, according to new data from Adobe Analytics.

Since January 2015, there has been a 68% increase in smartphone web traffic in the U.S., while desktop and tablet both saw declines. Overall, web traffic has been pretty much flat, according to Adobe’s Media & Metrics report that was released Monday. Adobe tracked more than 150 billion visits to or launches of 400 large company sites and apps since January 2015, using anonymous and aggregated data from companies on Adobe Experience Cloud.</p>

This is change rather than total, but it's still dramatic. -30% for desktops/laptops, -16% for tablets.
mobile  apps  tablet  analytics 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
Tablet screen size trend • ScientiaMobile
<p>Two screen sizes segments clearly emerge from the tablet group:

1) full-size, larger tablets (over 9in diagonal screen size), and

2) smaller “mini” tablets (less than 9in diagonal screen size).

<img src="" width="100%" />

The full size segment is the largest market. In particular, the full-size 9.5in to 10in segment has grown from 46.6% in 2014 to 53.6% in 2017 Q2. The largest sizes – over 11in – have not grown. In fact, despite Apple iPad’s power in the market, the larger iPad Pro versions do not seem to have gained much market share.

Back in 2014, the 7-7.5″ was the largest portion of Mini tablet market. Now in 2017, the smaller “mini” segment has shifted away from the 7in to 7.5in size and is predominated by the 7.5in to 8in size. The 7.5in to 8in segment holds 31.8% of the traffic in 2017 Q2.</p>

What's surprising is how the "mini" (8in and below) section has remained roughly static as a share of the whole: about 40%. Apple is effectively discouraging people from buying the iPad mini (7.9in) through its pricing: you can now get a 9.7in iPad for less.
ipad  tablet 
august 2017 by charlesarthur
Hands-on video shows Lenovo Folio bendable tablet working fully • Pocket-lint
Rik Henderson:
<p>Chinese manufacturer Lenovo has been working on several tech concepts that will reimagine current gadgets. It recently revealed a bendable laptop during an event in New York that can be rolled to transport. And it has discussed bendy tablet formats in the past.

Now it has shown one of the latter and, instead of folding in on itself as you'd expect, the Lenovo Folio concept device folds over with the screen on the outside.

A video of the concept was posted online by Mobile China, on Chinese video site Youku. It shows someone going hands-on with the working prototype, which does indeed fold in the middle to give two separate screens - one either side of the bent device.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The prospective uses of such a device are yet to be fully explored, although we can see in the video that, as well as provide screens for user and separate viewer, it can also bend back into a larger tablet form and continue to be used in that more standard way.</p>

The initial temptation is to say "the uses are the same as a tablet", but one can see the potential to have something phone-sized in your pocket which you can then open out and use as a full(er)-sized tablet. Could be big. Could vanish.
lenovo  foldable  tablet 
july 2017 by charlesarthur
Amazon upgrades low-cost Fire tablets, expands kids options, aiming for bigger piece of market • GeekWire
Todd Bishop:
<p>Amazon is refreshing its budget tablets — upgrading the hardware for its $50 Fire 7 tablet, dropping the price of its Fire HD 8 by $10 to $80, and expanding its lineup of kids tablets with a new $130 Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet.

The company is aiming to grab a larger share of what has been a declining tablet market. The industry saw a 10 percent drop in shipments in the first quarter. Amazon was able to grow its market share slightly to about 6 percent in the quarter, compared with the same period a year earlier. Apple’s iPad still leads the market, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy Tab devices.

Amazon says the Fire 7 is its best-selling tablet. The new version is thinner and lighter with a higher-contrast screen and up to 8 hours of mixed-use battery life, and improved WiFi connectivity. Both the Fire 7 and the Fire HD 8 come with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.</p>

Note the presence of Alexa. One can imagine a time not so far off when the only significant players in (slate) tablets are Apple, Samsung and Amazon. That's <a href="">pretty much true now</a> apart from Huawei being ahead of Amazon, which is closely followed by Lenovo, which <a href="">loses money on every Android slate it sells</a>.
tablet  amazon 
may 2017 by charlesarthur
60% of Tablet Users Sharing their Device - GlobalWebIndex Blog
Felim McGrath:
<p>As we reported last week, tablet ownership rates are falling but as today’s Chart shows, those digital consumers who are using tablets are often sharing them with one or more people.

In fact, it’s 60% of this group who share their tablet with at least one other person. And considering 4 in 10 are sharing with 2 or more other users (rising to half among parents), it’s clear that consumers view these tablets as household devices, more akin to TVs or desktop PCs than smartphones.

The ‘secondary’ nature of these devices is confirmed by our research into device importance, with only 8% of tablet users saying their tablet is their most important device for getting online. In contrast, over half say their most important device is their smartphone.</p>

OK, we get it - tablets are for all the family.
may 2017 by charlesarthur
Tablet ownership rates falling • GlobalWebIndex
Felim McGrath:
<p>Back in 2014, it was almost half of digital consumers who said they personally owned a tablet. Fast forward to 2016 and those figures have dropped to 42%. Across the same period, we have seen usage of tablets drop across a range of metrics, giving a strong indication that many users are reaching for their devices less frequently and are choosing not to upgrade/replace them.

One obvious reason why tablets have struggled to convince their owners that they are essential devices is the rise of smartphones, which continue to offer ever more complex functionalities and, crucially, larger and larger screens. Indeed, over the same period that we have seen tablet ownership decline, smartphones have seen clear growth.

<img src="" width="100%" /></p>

This is quite something. It's incredibly broad - just a single top-line number - but that's a notable shift. When ownership rates fall, it indicates substitution.
tablet  ownership  installedbase 
may 2017 by charlesarthur
Worldwide tablet shipments decline 8.5% in the first quarter as the slow migration from slates to detachables continues • IDC
<p>The tablet market is comprised of two different product categories, which are headed in very different directions as noted by IDC in the past. Devices offering a first-party keyboard, which IDC refers to as detachable tablets, continue to grow for the most part. Many of these devices have quickly grown to resemble products that IDC refers to as traditional notebook PCs or laptops. The other product category is slate tablets (those lacking this keyboard option), which saw shipments peak in 2014 and is now in a steep decline that IDC believes will continue throughout the forecast period…

…Fast forward to 1Q17 and traditional PCs have returned to growth, albeit relatively flat growth, for the first time since 1Q12.

"A long-term threat to the overall PC market lies in how the market ultimately settles on the detachable versus convertible debate," said Linn Huang, research director, Devices & Displays at IDC. "To date, detachable shipments have dwarfed those of convertibles, but growth of the former has slowed a bit. In IDC's 2017 U.S. Consumer PCD Survey, fielded over the previous two months, detachable owners held slightly more favorable attitudes towards their detachables than convertible owners did for their convertibles. However, owners of both were far more likely to recommend a convertible over a detachable."</p>

"Flat growth" is a lovely phrase for "dead". IDC doesn't include "convertibles" in its tablet segment; they're PCs which can be tablet-y (eg Lenovo's Yoga). IDC says Apple, whose share is settling down to about 25% of the whole tablet segment, is top of the "detachable" market with the iPad Pro. (I love the 9.7in version - perfect weight and portability.) Samsung meanwhile is backing into the Windows PC market through the same route.

Android slates are the low-price, zero-profit (unsustainable) end; Strategy Analytics <a href="">says</a> Windows was 15% of tablet shipments, ie 6.3m units on its larger measure of 42.1m for the market. IDC puts the market at 36.2m units.
idc  tablet  windows  apple 
may 2017 by charlesarthur
The untimely demise of the Chrome OS Lenovo Yoga Book: 'Pbody' is dead • Chrome Unboxed
Gabriel Brangers:
<p>From the outside looking in, it’s hard to see any real reason from a development standpoint why ‘Pbody’ was abandoned. From a marketing position, however, the demise of the Chrome OS Yoga Book might be a little easier to understand. The Windows and Android versions of the Yoga Book were met with very critical reviews and as a result its popularity has waned in the wake of other devices offering a more practical computing experience.

Not to mention the Chrome OS version was to house a Skylake chip making it more high-end than its counterparts. Possibly, Lenovo decided the profitability just isn’t there, yet. I think Engadget hit the nail on the head here. [Its review said "Still, none of these writing features make up for the terrible typing experience. Although it scores points for novelty, the Yoga Book is too unreliable to be a true productivity machine."]

The Yoga Book is a novelty and until the gimmick acquires the functionality it needs maybe we’re better off waiting for the Yoga Book Chromebook. Even I will admit, typing on a haptic feedback keyboard during my daily tasks sounds horrid. Still, I really want this device to become a reality.</p>

Lenovo hasn't announced this officially; it was deduced from comments in the Chromium Repository about "Pbody", the company's codename for the Yoga Book. It's possible the Windows version will still go ahead - but I wouldn't hold your breath. I <a href="">didn't find the Yoga Book convincing</a> when I tried it last September.
lenovo  yogabook  tablet 
april 2017 by charlesarthur
Samsung's new iPad Pro is just fantastic • Gizmodo
Alex Cranz lays on the irony pretty thick, but then relents:
<p>Past the iPad-like trappings, the Galaxy Tab S3 is, at its core, a supplemental computing device built for an audience I don’t think either Samsung or Apple quite knows. This isn’t for business use, or as a primary device for students, or a necessity for artists. Its a pure luxury item Samsung and Apple like to insist we need even we’ve already got phones and laptops that do everything the Tab S3 does. It’s what you buy because you’re tired of a computer on your lap while you watch TV or you want something light to carry on the plane for your next trip out of town.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is very good at being a supplemental device. If you broke your iPad or finally saved up enough pennies to purchase your first premium tablet than the Tab S3 is a fine $600 choice. It’s a $100 less than an iPad Pro and Pencil and the only true downside is how tablet-unfriendly Android can occasionally be. That’s a pretty dang minor downside in my book. As iPad knock-offs go, the Galaxy Tab S3 reigns supreme.</p>

In summary: display looks nice, Android on a tablet (especially in landscape mode) doesn't.
android  samsung  tablet 
march 2017 by charlesarthur
The tablet computer is growing up • Tech.pinions
Ben Bajarin:
<p>In a research study we did in the second half of 2016 on consumers usage and sentiment around PCs and tablets, 67% of consumers had not even considered replacing their PC/Mac with an iPad or Android tablet.

As you may have seen, the tablets trend line is not encouraging.
<img src="" width="100%" />

While it is true the PC trendline isn’t much better, over the past year or so a fascinating counter-trend has been happening in the PC industry. The average selling price of PCs is actually increasing. In the midst of the tablet decline, many consumers are realizing they still need a traditional laptop or desktop and are spending more on such computers than in many years past. Our research suggests a key reason is because consumers now understand they want a PC which will last since they will likely keep it for 6 years or more. They understand spending to get a quality product, one that won’t break frequently or be a customer support hassle, is in their best interests and they are spending more money on PCs than ever before. This single insight is a key source of my concern for the tablet category.</p>

As he notes, anyone who has a workflow set up on a PC is probably going to be reluctant to set up a new one on an iPad.
ipad  tablet 
february 2017 by charlesarthur
Asustek adjusting tablet operations • Digitimes
Monica Chen and Adam Hwang:
<p>Asustek Computer is adjusting its tablet operations by decreasing the number of models developed, focusing shipments on fewer overseas markets, and transferring a portion of its about 1,000 employees specifically working on tablets to its VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality), and smartphone business units, according to company CEO Jerry Shen.

Asustek began the adjustments in mid-2016 and expects to finish it in mid-2017, Shen said.

Asustek's global tablet shipments fell from 12.1m units in 2013 to 9.4m units in 2014, 5.9m units in 2015 and 3.3m units in 2016.</p>

"Adjusting" seems a roundabout way to say "abandoning". Remember the Nexus 7 in 2012 and 2013? Those were Asus.

The reality: there's no profit in Android tablets any more unless you're Samsung, and even then it's iffy.
asus  tablet 
february 2017 by charlesarthur
Report: Apple might be revamping its iPad lineup in March • Engadget
Andrew Tarantola:
<p>Japanese website Macotakara reports that Apple's upcoming March event will see the release of a new line of iPad Pros as well as 128GB iPhone SE and a new bright red color choice for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The company is expected to unveil iPad Pros in 7.9in, 9.7in, 10.5in, and 12.9in models.

That could mean that Apple is replacing the iPad mini 4 with the 7.9in Pro, refreshing the 9.7in and 12.9in models. and introducing a whole new model, the 10.5. However there have been some conflicting reports as to whether Apple really will do that. Both Barclays and KGI Securities failed to mention the 7.9in model in their predictions so it could be that the 10.5in will actually replace the mini 4. As DigiTimes points out, the 10.5's screen width would be the same as the iPad mini's screen height and, with that rumored edge-to-edge display, would fit in the same overall footprint.

Still, Macotakara is saying that the 7.9in will use the Smart Connector, a 12MP iSight camera, True Tone flash and display, just like its larger counterparts. The 10.5 and 12.9in versions will reportedly run on A10X chips while the smaller models will use the A9X.</p>

This is going to be quite a big parade of iPads. What I'm wondering is: whatever happened to the big enterprise boost to iPad sales that we were led to believe would follow from the Apple-IBM deal? Or just generally? It seems like enterprises are sitting on their hands when it comes to tablets.
ipad  apple  tablet 
february 2017 by charlesarthur
Samsung Chromebook Plus review: future imperfect • The Verge
Dieter Bohn:
<p>The trouble starts with the tablet mode. Google either isn't finished with it yet or just doesn't know what people want to do with tablets yet (I suspect it's both). When you flip the screen around, everything goes full screen, with no option to split windows into sidebars. Want to leave it in tablet mode and put it to sleep? Sorry, Charlie — hitting the power button simply takes you to the lock screen, where you'll have to sit and watch it for 40 seconds before it finally powers down.

Given that Google is pushing out Chrome OS updates on a regular and reliable schedule, I expect those smaller issues will get fixed at some point. What I'm less sure about is the consistency and utility of Android apps on Chrome OS.

Take the stylus, which is a great idea, but badly implemented right now. Google does a smart thing by having it pop open a menu when you pull it out of its silo, but that's where the current intelligence mostly ends. It's useful for tapping tiny icons when in tablet mode, but there aren't many web apps that work well with it. Instead, most of the apps that the stylus is meant to go with are the Android apps, like Google Keep. In the future, Google Keep will use fancy machine learning to reduce the lag. In the present, trying to take even a basic note is like writing with invisible ink: a letter sometimes doesn't even appear until you're onto the next one. And the root of the problem is that Android apps on Chrome OS are still in beta — a very much unfinished experience.</p>

Eight-hour battery life (average for modern laptops), doesn't run Windows or Mac apps, and Android's tablet functionality isn't anything to write home about. Cheap, but not particularly cheaper than Windows PCs. I'm starting to think Google doesn't quite know how to push ChromeOS.
google  chromebook  chromeos  tablet  android 
february 2017 by charlesarthur
The squeezing of tablet time • Strategy Analytics
Prabhat Agarwal:
<p>With AppOptix we possess the data on the digital mobile consumer.

Aside from capturing smartphone user data, we also obtain data on tablet users – which is the topic of this blog.

Tablets have long since been a mainstay product in the mobile device family, capable of operating an array and abundance of applications (from gaming and productivity tools to health and fitness apps) with users integrating them into their daily workflow for accomplishing goals and/or tracking activities, or if they’re like me, for watching TV shows/movies. However, the insertion of “plus” size smartphones have taken a toll on tablet usage, with average daily usage steadily declined from 2014 compared to growth in smartphone minutes.

<img src="" width="100%" /></p>
tablet  user 
december 2016 by charlesarthur
The slow, uninteresting death of Android tablets is unfolding, and it is no one's fault • Android Police
David Ruddock:
<p>Demands for features, functions, and tablet-specific interfaces distract from the real problem with tablets - that fewer and fewer people need or even want them.…

…There remain legitimate niche markets for tablets, in both professional and consumer senses, but the writing is on the wall when it comes to the mass-market tablet: we're only going down from here. Rumors that Google is working on a new 7" tablet to showcase its next-generation Andromeda operating system gave hope to enthusiasts that Google isn't quite ready to let the tablet off life support just yet. If and when that device arrives, great pains will be taken by some to assure us that people really do want tablets, it's just that they didn't want the tablets we had before. We just need that magic bullet; to finally crack the tablet code. "This time, developers will pay attention!"

This is a fantasy. Android tablets have had six years to mature and evolve, for developers to find the use cases and the markets for their wares, and at the end of it all we're left with a tablet content ecosystem now utterly devoid of interest from consumers and developers alike. Nothing Google can do with its operating system will be able to shock the tablet market back to life, because the tablet is not dying for a lack of content. It is dying for a lack of compelling reasons to exist.</p>

This may be the case for Android tablets, which have never quite managed to shift into a gear where they can rival PCs for usefulness. (I'd also take issue with Ruddock's first point above: falling sales don't mean fewer people want or need them, but that they're slow to replace.) I think it's different for the iPad, where the focus on apps, and especially paid apps, has made a difference. The existence of Workflow, which lets you automate workflows, and Pythonista, which lets you run Python programs, means you really can do a great deal on an iPad - and it's a lot more portable than a laptop.
tablet  android 
december 2016 by charlesarthur
Apple to add 10.5-inch models to iPad series in 2017, say Taiwan makers • Digitimes
Siu Han and Adam Hwang:
<p>Apple is launching the 10.5in iPad mainly because 10in and larger tablets have been popular among enterprises and the education sector in the US, the sources said. Its existing 9.7in iPad may be too small and the 12.9in iPad Pro too expensive for such procurement, the sources indicated.

The 10.5in iPad will be equipped with Apple-developed CPU A10X which is also used in 12.9in iPad Pro, the sources noted.

Shipments of 10.5in iPad will reach two million units in first-quarter 2017 and may reach 5-6 million units in the year, the sources said.

Apple will also launch lower-price versions of the 9.7in iPad to compete with Android models, the sources noted.</p>

So 10.5in is a sort of Goldilocks size - not too big, not too small? You'd think others would have already figured that. So this feels a bit strange. As does the part about "cheaper 9.7in iPad": Apple doesn't need to compete with Android tablets, as they're killing themselves.
Apple  ipad  tablet 
november 2016 by charlesarthur
Is that a PC on your desk? Windows hybrids, Macs and iPads struggle for share • ZDNet
Ed Bott:
<p>Does anyone even know what a PC is anymore?

That's not an idle question. Unfortunately, it's a reflection of the confusion among analysts covering this space today.

I've just reviewed four years' worth of data from IDC and Gartner, the two big research companies that release regular reports tracking the state of the PC market. IDC publishes its results in its Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, while Gartner's data is part of its PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide report. Full reports are a subscribers-only product, but both firms publish detailed press releases with each new publication.

So, if you study both sets of data you'll get a good handle on the PC market, right?

Spoiler: They can't even agree on the definition of a PC.

…IDC says a Chromebook is a PC but a Surface Book running Windows 10 isn't. Gartner counts the entire Surface line but leaves Chromebooks off the list.

To make things even more confusing, Apple (alone among device makers) publishes detailed sales figures for both its iPad and Mac lines. And Tim Cook insists that "the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people."</p>

Yup, it's a problem all right; made worse by the purposeful obfuscation by those research companies in their public releases. The companies of course want people to pay for the full data, but there's plenty of confusion sown because writers get hold of half the story and can't figure out the other half.
pc  tablet 
november 2016 by charlesarthur
Low-cost detachables and slates in the lead as tablet market slump persists • IDC
<p>The worldwide tablet market continued its slump as vendors shipped 43m units in the third quarter of 2016 (3Q16), a year-over-year decline of 14.7%, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. In contrast to the annual decline, 3Q16 shipments were up 9.8% over the second quarter of 2016 as the larger vendors prepared for the holiday quarter.

Low-cost (sub-$200) detachables also reached an all-time high as vendors like RCA flooded the market. "Unfortunately, many low-cost detachables also deliver a low-cost experience," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "The race to the bottom is something we have already experienced with slates and it may prove detrimental to the market in the long run as detachables could easily be seen as disposable devices rather than potential PC replacements."

"Beyond the different end-user experience delivered by low- and high-end tablets, we're witnessing real tectonic movements in the market with slate companion devices sold at the low-end serving a broader platform strategy, like Amazon is doing with Alexa on its Fire Tablets, and more expensive productivity tools closer to true computing and legitimate notebook replacement devices that should manage to keep average prices up," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director, Tablets at IDC.

Despite Apple's marketing push for the iPad Pro, the iPad Air and Mini lines have been the models with mass appeal, accounting for more than two-thirds of its shipments this quarter. Although Apple's tablet shipments declined 6.2% year over year, total iPad-related revenues were flat for the quarter, thanks to the iPad Pro offering.

Samsung continued to hold the number 2 position. Fortunately, the negative press from the Note 7 did not bleed over into its tablet business. However, overreliance on the declining slate market led to a decline of 19.3% compared to 3Q15. Samsung's attempt to enter the detachable market with its TabPro S at the beginning of 2016 seems to have taken a backseat as its price and positioning remain uncompetitive.</p>

IDC's comment implies about 3m iPad Pros (both flavours) shipped/sold, but it sounds like Samsung is hanging on by its fingertips. And - the irony - Microsoft's Surface still doesn't figure in IDC's top five, meaning it shipped fewer than 2.4m (possibly more like 1m), even though it arguably chiselled out the niche for the Pro - but also, I'd suggest, did it too early. It's not just technology; timing matters too.
tablet  apple  ipadpro 
november 2016 by charlesarthur
One year later: Can Android 7.0 Nougat save the Pixel C? • Ars Technica
Ron Amadeo, pointing out that the Pixel C team had essentially said "yeah, Nougat, that'll make it good":
<p>In the year 2016, do Android tablet apps still suck? To answer this, I installed the top 200 apps on the Pixel C and gave them all a quick test drive. I looked at apps only—not games—using this "Top Apps only" Play Store list. The idea is that games scale just fine on tablets; it's apps that are the challenge.

Of the top 200 apps:

• 19 [9.5%] were not compatible with the Pixel C<br />• 69 [34.5%] did not support landscape at all<br />• 84 [42%] were stretched-out phone apps<br />• 28 [14%] were, by my judgment, actual "tablet" apps

That there aren't many tablet apps isn't a surprise to most people. What was a shock was the lack of landscape support in so many apps. More than 33 percent of the top 200 were all landscape, all the time, and many more (even some Google apps) had interstitials and other single screens that didn't support landscape.

Android apps are primarily used on phones, which are primarily used in portrait mode. The Pixel C primarily lives in landscape mode, though—the cameras, physical buttons, microphones, and speakers are oriented with the expectation of landscape, and the device must be in landscape in order to use the physical keyboard. When compared to the phone market, this is a very rare configuration that creates a problem in apps that most people won't notice.</p>

Of course the iPad only got split screen functionality a year ago - and some apps don't work in it. But the number that do work in tablet form is a lot higher than 14%. Amadeo is pretty damning about the indifference of developers to Android tablet apps - and indeed Google: "Google keeps producing and marketing flagship tablets, though, and it keeps trying to get away with a blown-up phone UI", he says at one point.
android  tablet  pixelc  nougat 
september 2016 by charlesarthur
Amazon has a potent weapon in the tablet wars: low prices • The New York Times
Nick Wingfield :
<p>five years after unveiling that first tablet, Amazon is coming out with a new model of the device that takes the company’s single-minded obsession with offering the lowest practical price to new extremes.

It is doing so at a time when the overall tablet market is no longer the growth juggernaut it once was, with weak sales from the likes of Apple and Samsung. One notable exception to the downward trend is Amazon, which is seeing sales rise because its devices are so inexpensive.

“They’re obviously doing something right because they continue to grow in a market that is overall declining,” said Jitesh Ubrani, an analyst at IDC, the technology research company.

The latest Amazon tablet is the Fire HD 8, a new model of the company’s 8-inch touch-screen device.</p>

Amazing that an IDC analyst couldn't point out that the tablet market segments very simply: the high end, where the profit is and people use the tablets for many purposes, and the low end, where profit is usually negative (unless, say, you have a gigantic e-commerce and music/video store attached) and the principal use is watching video.
amazon  tablet 
september 2016 by charlesarthur
Worldwide tablet market expected to rebound in 2018 as Windows opens doors for growth and ipads come out of a slump • IDC
<p>The decline of the worldwide tablet market is set to continue for the remainder of 2016 as year-over-year growth reaches an all-time low of -11.5% and shipments of 183.4 million units, according to forecast data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Positive growth is set to return in 2018 and continue through 2020 with shipments reaching 194.2 million tablets as detachable tablets continue to steal share from traditional PCs.

"Appealing to the commercial audience will be key as detachable tablets aim to take a larger piece of the traditional PC market," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "Windows and iOS already have solid detachable offerings and with the latest version of Android, Google will also have a horse in the race as they finally offer better multitasking support and added security features."</p>

The notable thing about the forecast is that it suggests Android's 2020 share will be 9 points lower than in 2015/6 (58% v 67%), almost all of which will be taken by Windows.

Then again, five-year forecasts are for the optimistic.
tablet  forecast 
september 2016 by charlesarthur
Lenovo's Yoga Book could make physical keyboards an endangered species • CNET
<p> Lenovo on Wednesday introduced the Yoga Book, a unique tablet/hybrid PC with two touchscreen displays that fold in on each other. A normal display makes up the top half, while the bottom half is a touchscreen featuring a digital "smart keyboard."

Lenovo's investment in such a product underscores the shifting patterns in how consumers -- particularly younger people -- interact with devices. The company's research found that people under 30 took to the digital keyboard immediately, while those older than 30 approached it with skepticism. If the Yoga Book takes off, it could mark the starting point for when the physical keyboard loses its spot as the go-to tool for composing a note.

"While the traditional keyboard or laptop are unlikely to disappear entirely, other devices will take over more of our computing tasks," said Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis.

If anyone can pull this off, it might be Lenovo. The company has led the world in PC sales for more than three years, and has led the charge in moving beyond basic laptops toward hybrids and two-in-one PCs that incorporate tablet elements. Indeed, Jeff Meredith, vice president of Lenovo's Android and Chrome computing business group, said his team designed the Yoga Book based on the tablet, not a PC.</p>

Clever idea. Apologies for this and the later CNet link, which has autoplay video enabled - you have been warned.
lenovo  tablet 
august 2016 by charlesarthur
Weak tablet demand prompting vendors to leave segment • Digitimes
Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai:
<p>With tablet demand continuing to weaken, Taiwan-based vendors have taken a conservative attitude about their tablet operation. Asustek Computer and Acer have turned to focus more on niche applications, while Micro-Start International (MSI) has already phased out of the business and to focus mainly on gaming PC product lines. China-based white-box players that have joined Intel's China Technology Ecosystem (CTE), have also mostly stopped pushing tablet products.

Dropping demand is expected to cause Asustek's tablet shipments to fall below three million units in 2016, according to sources from the upstream supply chain, leaving Apple the only player that is still able to achieve strong profits from the tablet sector.

The sources also pointed out that despite weakening tablet shipments, Wintel-based 2-in-1 devices continue to enjoy growth. However, growth rates are still not strong enough to offset the decline of tablets…

…As for the white-box tablet industry, the current number of players that is still releasing tablet products is only one-third of the industry's peak. Many tablet white-box players that were selected by Intel's nurturing project have already given up their tablet development as Intel has been cutting subsidies and new platform development.</p>

Significant development: Asus(tek) made the Nexus 7, which was probably the best-selling Google Android tablet of all time. (Via <a href="">Harvey</a>.)
august 2016 by charlesarthur
Global tablet shipments to up over 16% on quarter in 3Q16 • Digitimes Research
Jim Hsaio:
<p>Global tablet shipments will bounce back 16.3% sequentially to reach nearly 47m units in the third quarter, but the volume will still be down over 10% compared to the same quarter a year ago, showing the market is still in no condition of recovering, according to Digitimes Research.

The sequential shipment growth is attributed to vendors' inventory build-ups for the year-end holidays in Europe and North America and the fact that several emerging markets have seen improved economies, which has increased tablet demand, Digitimes Research said.

Despite the absence of new models for the second half of 2016, Apple will see its tablet shipment dip only slightly on year to 9.5 million units in the third quarter thanks to steady demand for 9.7iniPad Pro. However, shipments by white-box tablet makers are expected to increase significantly to 18.5m units in the third quarter on growing shipments to retail shops in the US and Europe and an easing in the supply of some key parts and components.</p>

Apple plus the white-box (no-name Android) vendors will be over half of volume, which doesn't leave much for the bigger players. Notable too: "Lenovo may temporarily outperform Amazon to take the third position in third-quarter rankings, but its tablet business unit has decided to shift its focus to Chromebooks and other Android devices."

In other words: there's no profit in branded Android tablets.
android  tablet  lenovo 
august 2016 by charlesarthur
Consumer ultraslim and detachable uptake revitalizes PC and tablet market in western Europe • IDC
<p>Chromebooks are gaining momentum and experiencing high growth, especially in the Nordics. As we are in the Nordics' back-to-school season, many vendors pushed shipments in 2016Q2, in particular targeting the education sector in the region, where the adoption of this form factor is taking off. Volumes are still low, as Chromebook are in early adoption stage among schools, but the growth potential is promising, especially in Sweden (59.7% YoY increase in 2016Q2).

Similarly to ultraslims, detachables are experiencing interesting growth in Western Europe, as shipments rose from 0.5m in 2015Q2 to 1.6m units in 2016Q2, in contrast with the 6.0% decline of the tablet market. Detachables performed strongly across all Western Europe, posting triple-digit growth in all countries. Surface continued to be the most widely adopted detachable in the commercial segment, while iPad Pro reached first position in the consumer segment. Detachables posted strong growth in both consumer and commercial, showing that interest in this form factor continues to be on the rise in both segments. Despite the rapid growth in both segments, the drivers behind their performance differ between them.

"The interest in detachables in the commercial segment is generated by the number of premium devices available in the market and the increasing number of use cases in which detachables emerge as the optimal solution. While deployments are not massive, since detachables are mainly adopted either to address specific vertical needs or by top executive ranks, the number of companies adopting them is clearly picking up as some of the classic concerns such as device performance are being tackled by this wave of new releases" said Daniel Gonçalves, research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. "On the other hand the penetration of detachables in the consumer segment is driven by many local vendors and white brands moving away from the already saturated slate space dominated by Android. These players keep targeting market share in the entry-level space, and now they also supply 9- or 10-inch screen size, Windows-based devices with basic features and keyboard capabilities."</p>

IDC is taking the "PC plus tablet" market as the proxy for everything that's going on - though at 17.2m (in western Europe) that still saw a 3.4% year-on-year fall, with tablets down by 6% while PCs fell by 1.6%.
idc  pc  tablet 
august 2016 by charlesarthur
Dell stops selling Android devices to focus on Windows • PCWorld
Agam Shah:
<p>Dell has stopped selling Android devices as it steps away from slate-style tablets to focus on Windows 2-in-1 devices.

The company isn’t refreshing the Venue line of Android tablets, and will no longer offer the Android-based Wyse Cloud Connect, a thumb-size computer that can turn a display into a PC. Other Android devices were discontinued some time ago.

“The slate tablet market is over-saturated and is experiencing declining demand from consumers, so we’ve decided to discontinue the Android-based Venue tablet line,” a Dell spokesman said in an email.

Though Dell has killed its Android devices, it made interesting products with the OS. One was the Venue 8 7000 tablet, which had an OLED screen and a 3D RealSense camera. Meanwhile, 2-in-1s can serve as both tablets and laptops.

“We are seeing 2-in-1s rising in popularity since they provide a more optimal blend of PC capabilities with tablet mobility. This is especially true in the commercial space,” the Dell spokesman said.</p>

Unsurprising. The Android tablet market is going to get squeezed really hard - there was already barely any profit there (Samsung was largest, and well behind Apple on volume), and that's going to get worse.
android  tablet  dell 
july 2016 by charlesarthur
The three big reasons Windows 10 tablets don't cut it • The Guardian
Samuel Gibbs:
<p>Apps and resolutions aside, the real big flaw for Windows 10 tablets is battery life. I’m not talking about active use battery life – I got a full day of work without plugging in the TabPro S – but standby time.

When you hit the power button to put an iPad or Android tablet running Marshmallow to sleep, you can be sure when you come back a day later that it’ll still have charge. Time and time again I’ve put Windows 10 tablets to sleep over night only to find them dead by the morning.

Microsoft’s built-in battery saver mode helps, but Windows 10 needs much tighter control over the power state of the device when asleep, particularly when users expect an instant-on response when coming back to their tablets.

Both Android and iOS excel here. The iPad Pro lasts a week on standby, as does Google’s Pixel C. I’m lucky if I managed to get a day of standby out of the TabPro S, which has one of the longest battery lives of any Windows 10 tablet I’ve tested.</p>

I was amazed by this, but people on Twitter confirmed it. (Though note too it has to be an "Android tablet <em>running Marshmallow</em> - emphasis added. Before that, Android tablet standby life wasn't too hot either.)
windows10  tablet  battery 
june 2016 by charlesarthur
Detachable tablets set to grow from 8% of tablet market in 2015 to 30% in 2020 » IDC
<p>Worldwide tablet shipments will drop to 195m units in 2016, down -5.9% from 2015, according to a new International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker forecast. Looking beyond 2016, IDC expects the overall market to return to positive growth, albeit single digit, driven by growing demand for detachable devices. This somewhat hybrid category that brings together slate tablets and PCs is expected to grow from 16.6m shipments in 2015 to 63.8m in 2020.

"Beyond the growing demand for detachable devices, we're also witnessing an increase in competition within this segment that will help drive design, innovation, and a decline in average prices," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets. "At the latest Mobile World Congress, we saw new entrants, like Alcatel and Huawei, coming from the mobile space and expanding their portfolio to address the demand for detachables. Everyone in the industry recognizes that traditional personal computers like desktops and notebooks will potentially be replaced by detachables in the coming years and this is why we will see a lot of new products being introduced this year."

The change from slate form factor to detachables will bring along two other changes to the tablet industry. First, devices with larger screen sizes (9" and above) will experience growth throughout the forecast while those under 9inches will decline. And second, Microsoft-based devices will begin taking share from the other platforms, most notably Android.</p>

This "detachable" v "slate" v "you can get an extra keyboard as an add-on" is confusing as hell, and IDC isn't making it any clearer. Nowhere in this release, or anywhere on IDC's site that I've seen, is there a definition of what makes a "detachable". Is the Surface Pro? The Surface Book? The iPad Pro? An iPad to which you add a Logitech keyboard?
tablet  idc 
march 2016 by charlesarthur
Amazon is recalling power adapters bundled with the UK version of the Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kids edition due to risk of electric shock » Android Police
Jeff Beck (not <em>that</em> Jeff Beck):
<p> If you live in the UK or Ireland and own one of Amazon's affordable 7in tablets, then you need to request a new charger. Amazon has noted that a small quantity of the chargers bundled with these devices have had their housing detach when being removed from the wall, creating a risk of electric shock (no, they are not a fire hazard).

The recall applies to all Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kid's Edition tablets sold in the UK and Ireland since September 2015. The faulty chargers have the model number FABK7B, which is found on the charger's face as indicated in the image below.

<img src="" width="100%" />

Amazon is offering a free exchange to affected customers through a voluntary recall. If you own one of these devices you can visit <a href="">this page</a> to find instructions on the exchange process.</p>
amazon  tablet  recall 
march 2016 by charlesarthur
CRN Exclusive: Google terminating Play For Education in a small-scale retreat from Android's educational market » CRN
<p>Google is retreating from a small segment of its booming education business by ending the life of a product that was developed to encourage adoption of Android tablets in schools, Google partners told CRN on Friday.

Google Play for Education, an extension of the Play software distribution platform, <a href="">was rolled out around two years ago</a> with the intent of putting more tablets into the hands of students. The app store, curated in close collaboration with educators, enabled solution providers to manage both devices and their specialized content…

…One [reseller] executive who asked not to be named told CRN he learned of the product's termination after attempting to procure tablets for a customer.

"We noticed something funny a couple weeks ago" when a client requested a quote for a number of Play for Work tablets, the Google partner told CRN. "Basically all manufacturers told us all those devices were end-of-lifed."

Asus, then Samsung, said they didn't have replacement devices that were Play-integrated, the reseller said. They told him to look at Chromebook laptops as an alternative.

Google later informed the partner that Play for Education was on its way out, and the company should focus on its Chromebooks practice for serving the educational market.

That partner exec said he believes some capability issues, like a limited number of student profiles that could be loaded onto a single device, coupled with competition from Apple's iPads, kept the Android tablets from deeply penetrating the education market, and convinced Google to step back from the program.

Google made a big marketing push last year for the educational tablets, the partner exec said, but "I'm not sure it ever clicked."</p>

This makes it seem as though both Play For Education *and* Play For Work are dead, if those devices were EOL'd. Tablets and Android have never been a good fit.
android  google  education  tablet 
february 2016 by charlesarthur
Would you be sad to see Sony withdraw from the tablet market? » Xperia Blog
The mysterious "XB":
<p>given the challenging smartphone market, as evidenced by last week’s results there is no guarantee that Sony will continue to cater for the tablet market. A recent Japanese blog post by a Sony store manager speculated that the company may withdraw from the tablet market after receiving marketing material suggesting so.

The news would not surprise us, after all, <a href="">we know that tablets made just 5% of Sony Mobile’s revenues back in 2013</a> and that was expected to shrink even further. Given the R&D costs of developing and supporting new devices, Sony may feel that producing another tablet for 2016 might not be commercially viable.</p>

I didn't know that about the tablet revenues; apparently they're meant to be down to 3-4% now. The question is whether they generate more than 0% in profit - because they must be eating up R+D time and money, which is opportunity cost that Sony probably can't afford.
tablet  sony 
february 2016 by charlesarthur
Worldwide shipments of slate tablets continue to decline while detachable tablets climb to new high » IDC
<p>Total shipments for 2015 were 206.8m, down -10.1% from 230.1m in the prior year. Despite the market's negative trajectory overall, shipments for detachable tablets reached an all-time high of 8.1m devices.

The transition towards detachable devices appears to be in full swing as pure slate tablets experienced their greatest annual decline to date of -21.1%. On the other hand, detachable tablets more than doubled their shipments since the fourth quarter of last year.

"This quarter was unique as we had new detachables in the market from all three of the major platform players," said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "Despite lukewarm reviews, the iPad Pro was the clear winner this season as it was the top selling detachable, surpassing notable entries from Microsoft and other PC vendors. It's also important to note that the transition towards detachable tablets has presented positive opportunities for both Apple and Microsoft. However, Google's recent foray into this space has been rather lackluster as the Android platform will require a lot more refinement to achieve any measurable success…"

…"One of the biggest reasons why detachables are growing so fast is because end users are seeing those devices as PC replacements," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets at IDC. "We believe Apple sold just over two million iPad Pros while Microsoft sold around 1.6 million Surface devices, a majority of which were Surface Pro and not the more affordable Surface 3. With these results, it's clear that price is not the most important feature considered when acquiring a detachable – performance is."</p>

That last quote is going to rile some people who insist you need a "full-fat" OS to do "real work" and that the iPad can't "perform". (They've usually not used one for years.)

This is getting confusing, though. The "detachables" are ranked with the "slates" for sales purposes but treated as different in categorisation.
tablet  surface  ipad 
february 2016 by charlesarthur
PC market finishes 2015 as expected, hopefully setting the stage for a more stable future » IDC
Gloom and doom - the figures for "traditional" PCs are back down to 2007 levels, with only Apple growing year-on-year, while the big players grab more of the market.

Note this though, because IDC doesn't count these:
<p>Detachable tablets, which are counted separately from PCs, are growing quickly but from a small base. Adding those units to PC shipments would boost growth by roughly 6 percentage points in the fourth quarter and 3 percentage points for all of 2015, bringing year-on-year growth for 4Q15 to a decline of about -5% and -7.5% for all of 2015. The impact for 2016 will be larger as detachable tablet volume grows, boosting earlier forecasts of PC growth in 2016 from -3.1% to growth of 1 to 2%.</p>

That translates to about 4m "detachables" (ie they come with a keyboard, rather than offering the keyboard as an extra - so the iPad Pro is a tablet, not a detachable) shipped in Q4, and 8m in the whole year.

I think the Surface Pro also counts as a "tablet" under IDC's definition. Nobody's happy with this, of course.

So the numbers are pretty small, but they're principally where the profit is - if you're not Apple.
pc  apple  detachable  tablet 
january 2016 by charlesarthur
HP exits low-cost tablet market in product shakeup » PCWorld
Agam Shah:
<p>If you're looking for a low-priced tablet from HP, you soon will not be able to find one.

HP is exiting the low-end tablet market amid declining prices and slowing demand. Instead, the company will focus on detachables, hybrids and business tablets at the higher end of the market.

"We are going to focus where there is profitability and growth and will not chase the low-end tablet market. We are focusing on business mobility to deliver tablets built for field service, education, retail and healthcare," said Ron Coughlin, president for personal systems at HP.

HP has already stopped listing many low-end Android tablets on its website. The remaining lower-end products -- the US$99 HP 7 G2 tablet and $149 HP 8 G2 tablet -- have been out of stock for months, and it's likely they won't be available again. They are however still available through some online retailers at cut-rate prices.

The least expensive tablet on HP's site is now the $329.99 HP Envy 8 Note tablet with Windows 10. HP has Windows on most tablets now, with only a handful running Android.</p>

Wonder if this will become a trend. Obviously it will for enterprise sales - but might it also be the way to lure back disaffected Windows PC customers?
hp  tablet  windows 
december 2015 by charlesarthur
Toddlers are already pros with tablets and smartphones, study finds » NBC News
Maggie Fox:
<p>Toddlers and preschoolers are often left to their own mobile devices, with half enjoying their very own TV by the tender age of 4 and more than three-quarters regularly using their own mobile devices, researchers said Monday.

Most are starting before they are even a year old — and by age 3, they're using the devices all by themselves, the team reports in the journal Pediatrics.

The survey was done in a single urban pediatric clinic in Philadelphia, and the researchers note that the findings do not necessarily extend to the whole country.

But they paint a troubling picture of populations of low-income and minority babies, and toddlers being kept quiet with televisions or tablet devices streaming cartoons.</p>

I'm much more worried about the idea of sitting the children in front of US TV, which spews up to 20 minutes of ads per hour at them, than of them using tablets - where at least they might have some agency. (Could we wish for better software for kids though?)
tablet  children 
november 2015 by charlesarthur
Laptop is a state of mind | Karma
Paul Miller:
<p>There's no such thing as "best of both worlds" in computers. Choices matter. Hybrids like the Surface Book are great for people who perfectly straddle the tablet and laptop use cases — who constantly switch between keyboard and pen, desk and walk-and-talks, angry memos and Angry Birds. Everyone else's perfect "laptop" will probably be a lot more boring, and a good deal cheaper.


You know what would be cool? A world where we actually needed Surface Books. What if our lives were like Microsoft Surface commercials? We'd flit effortlessly between different roles. An architect for one moment, consulting with a professional on your home remodel. Then you're drawing up a clever football play for Russell Wilson. Then you're playing Madden, streamed from your Xbox. Then you're answering work emails and flicking away distractions with your finger. And then you're in some big song-and-dance number, and you can't even remember where you put your Surface Book because your life is amazing and who even cares anymore you're going to die happy, loved by your family and respected by your peers.

The Surface Book is not an inferior product because its hardware is too ambitious. It's an inferior product because its hardware is more ambitious than the digital lives we've thus far concocted.</p>
tablet  2in1  laptop 
november 2015 by charlesarthur
Tablet shipments decline by 12.6% in the third quarter as many vendors get serious about moving from slate offerings to detachables » IDC
<p>At the close of 2014, IDC estimated the installed base of tablets to be 581.9m globally, which was up 36% from 2013 but slowing quickly. With mature markets like North America, Western Europe, and Asia/Pacific well past 100m active tablets per region, the opportunities for growth are getting fewer. 

"We continue to get feedback that tablet users are holding onto devices upwards of four years," said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "We believe the traditional slate tablet has a place in the personal computing world. However, as the smartphone installed base continues to grow and the devices get bigger and more capable, the need for smaller form factor slate tablets becomes less clear. With shipment volumes slowing over four consecutive quarters, the market appears to be in transition."

In response to these challenges, the industry is seeing growing interest from vendors in new form factors, with detachable tablets becoming a clear focus for many. While detachable tablets have held just a single digit percentage of the overall tablet market, IDC expects this share to increase dramatically over the next 18 months. However, the shift toward detachables presents some new challenges. In particular, the mix of traditional PC OEMs that are evolving their portfolios to include detachables will face pressure from the traditional smartphone OEMs, many of which have become accustomed to delivering extremely low-cost products.</p>

Apple is kinda-sorta doing the detachable thing with the iPad Pro, but the detachables market really looks like one where Windows devices are best placed. So will IDC start calling them PCs or tablets?
tablet  detachable 
october 2015 by charlesarthur
Samsung Galaxy View hands-on review » The Inquirer
James Archer on Samsung's 18.4in "tablet":
<p>Evidently, this is something that needs to be placed on a table, not held up by hand. The stand does include a carry handle, and the hinge feels strong enough to comfortably take the weight, but it's still heavy enough that we wouldn't want to lug it around, even in the included carry case. It's easily as heavy as a large laptop, and with that stand it takes up more space than one as well.

Perhaps it's just us being used to flat, easily portable slates, but the Galaxy View's general design seems a bit, well, awkward. The fact that the stand can't be removed means that it's always flapping around, adding bulk and threatening to trap our fingers whenever we wanted to move the device around. Also, other than the front panel, which is made from glass, the entire thing is constructed with cheap-feeling plastics that are a far cry from the premium metallic bodywork of Samsung's smartphones and more recent tablets.

As for connectivity, there's a standard microUSB port and a microSD slot, as well as Bluetooth 4.1. Some form of display connectivity, like mini HDMI, might have made sense here, but at least the Galaxy View is big enough to be watchable from a good few feet away.

The Galaxy View's screen is 18.4in diagonally, but it has a relatively low pixel density of 119ppi owing to the 1920x1080 resolution.</p>

Clearly designed to be viewed from a distance; not so much a tablet as a Google TV. But where's the remote?
samsung  tablet 
october 2015 by charlesarthur
Why tablets are the future of computing » WSJ
Christopher Mims:
<p>Take Intel’s coming line of Skylake chips, which CEO Brian Krzanich has said will enable thinner, lighter notebook PCs with better battery life. All of this will be possible because the chips will be more efficient, with some Skylake chips drawing less than 4½ watts, says IT analyst Patrick Moorhead.
“That power envelope is the first time you can do a fanless device, and fanless means thin,” says Mr. Moorhead. In other words, those svelte, MacBook Air-like “ultrabooks” Intel has been touting have the potential to turn into ultra tablets with detachable keyboards.

These devices won’t just be running Windows, of course, because manufacturers also have plans to sell them with Google’s Chrome operating system and even a version of the Android OS modified to function like a full desktop operating system.

What’s just over the horizon is a weird moment in computing history, when every major desktop and mobile OS, with the notable exception of Mac OS, will be competing on devices with the same ultra tablet form factor. With Windows 10, Microsoft has already blurred the lines between a mobile and a desktop OS, and now Google, Apple and others are following suit.</p>

Arguably it should be "why 2-in-1s are the future of computing", but it would make the headline unwieldy. Does this mean the Ubuntu Edge idea of a mobile phone you plug into a keyboard/display becomes feasible soon? It seems an idea that comes and goes - some times it's good (Handspring had a good version in the early 2000s), some times it's bad (Motorola Atrix).
tablet  2in1 
september 2015 by charlesarthur
Worldwide tablet shipments expected to decline -8.0% in 2015 while 2-in-1 devices pick up momentum, growing 86.5% » IDC
According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, tablet shipments, inclusive of 2-in-1 devices, are expected to decline -8.0% in 2015, representing a notable slowdown from IDC's previous forecast of -3.8%. Shipments are now expected to reach 212 million with the vast majority being pure slate tablets.

The overall trajectory of the tablet market has not changed significantly over the past year and a half, but the 2-in-1 segment, also referred to as detachables, is starting to gain traction. While the 2-in-1 form factor is not new, OEMs are getting more serious about this market and as a result IDC expects the 2-in-1 segment to grow 86.5% year over year in 2015 with 14.7 million units shipped. Although this volume is far below that of the more affordable slate tablet segment, IDC believes these devices appeal to an audience seeking an alternative to pure tablets with smaller screens.

Basically, Windows picks up from interest in 2-in-1 devices. But it remains niche. (Gartner rolls 2-in-1s into its PC category; IDC calls them "tablets".) IDC expects an "iPad Pro" and that Apple will still be the largest vendor in 2019.
tablet  idc 
august 2015 by charlesarthur
Large touchscreens: what's different? » Nielsen-Norman Group
Amy Schade tried out a 24in tablet with her children (because children don't know what they're not supposed to not do):
While the large screen was completely enthralling to my 2 year olds, the size of the touchscreen was a drawback for my daughter. She leaned on the screen with one hand in order to reach another part of the screen. As a result, the puzzle pieces that she was trying to move jumped from one hand to the other, if they moved at all.

Using the large screen was particularly hard for her, based on her size relative to the device —most of us aren’t using devices that are nearly as big as we are. However, her attempts to use it also illustrate a problem far more likely to be encountered with large touchscreens: that of unintended two-handed touches and other accidental touches.

We see this play out in our testing of mobile devices. We witness more accidental touches or brushes of the screen as people maneuver standard sized tablets than we do when watching people use their phones.

Designs need to anticipate and accommodate accidental touches and consider ways to incorporate larger gestures, hand presses versus finger touches, and multi-hand interactions.
tablet  ux 
june 2015 by charlesarthur
Tablet market losing demand » Digitimes
Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai:
Asustek Computer is expected to ship only less than 4m tablets in the first half and is unlikely to achieve its one million unit target and most likely to stay flat from the 9.4m units from 2014 or slightly lower.

The sources pointed out that Apple's iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 both had unsatisfactory shipment performances, but the iPad mini 2, which received a price cut, had a rather strong demand, especially from China.

For the non-Apple tablet market, US$99-199 devices are the mainstream and models featuring phone function are even more popular. Although several first-tier vendors are planning to release new tablets shortly, they only placed small orders to avoid inventory build up.

Seeing tablets no longer enjoying demand as they used to, many vendors have turned to focus on developing Windows-based 2-in-1 devices or 2-in-1 Chromebooks.
may 2015 by charlesarthur
For the second straight quarter the worldwide tablet market contracts amid competition from alternative devices » IDC
Apple still leads the overall market despite five consecutive quarters of negative annual shipment growth. Apple shipped 12.6m iPads in the first quarter, capturing 26.8% of the market in volume and declining -22.9% when compared to 1Q14. Samsung (19.1% share) maintained its second place in the market despite a -16.5% decline in shipments compared to the same period last year. Lenovo (5.3% share), Asus (3.8 %) and LG (3.1%) rounded out the top 5 positions. LG's year-over-year growth was notable as it continues to benefit from US carriers' strategy to bundle connected tablets with existing customers.

"Although the tablet market is in decline, 2-in-1s are certainly a bright spot," said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. "While 2-in-1, or detachables, still account for a small portion of the overall market, growth in this space has been stunning as vendors like Asus, Acer, and E-FUN have been able to offer products at a fantastic value; and vendors like Microsoft have been able to drive growth at the high end with devices like the Surface Pro 3."

The smallest figure that IDC splits out is 1.4m, for LG, which implies that the Surface shipped fewer. Tablets took off fast; now they're awaiting the replacement cycle.
april 2015 by charlesarthur
Say goodbye to the Nexus 7 as Google pulls listing from store page |
Jared Peters:
After releasing the Nexus 9 and not even mentioning the possibility of a refreshed 7in tablet, though, most of us could see the writing on the wall about the Nexus 7’s fate. Today, it’s finally happened, as Google no longer offers the Nexus 7 on their online store. Finding a listing for the Nexus 7 specifically says that it’s no longer for sale.

Google’s Nexus program has changed over the past couple of years, moving away from extremely affordable devices to more high-end devices that offer a flagship caliber experience without sacrificing development options and quick updates. Unfortunately, that move comes with flagship caliber price tags, too, which is evident in the Nexus 9’s doubled price tag over the Nexus 7.

The Nexus 7 is only just larger than the Nexus 6, which is a phone and is the only device you can use on Google's Fi MVNO. Google doesn't think tablets are worth it.
nexus7  google  tablet 
april 2015 by charlesarthur
Samsung tablets made spy-proof by BlackBerry using IBM software » Bloomberg Business
Cornelius Rahn:
BlackBerry introduced a modified Samsung Electronics Co. tablet computer that lets government and corporate users access consumer applications such as YouTube and WhatsApp while keeping confidential work-related information away from spies and crooks.

The €2,250 ($2,360) SecuTABLET will be available by the third quarter, Hans-Christoph Quelle, head of BlackBerry’s Secusmart unit, said in an interview Sunday. More than 10,000 units will be shipped annually in Germany alone by next year, with a higher number sold by IBM, which is handling sales to companies worldwide, he said.

The SecuTABLET combines Samsung Electronics's Tab S 10.5 with Secusmart’s microSD card and IBM software to wrap applications that hold sensitive data into a virtual container where they can’t be harmed by malware. Germany’s computer-security watchdog is evaluating the device for classified government communication and will probably give its approval before the end of the year, Quelle said.

I'm not sure in what sense BlackBerry "introduced" this. Its tieup with Samsung seems to be letting it be more of an MDM (mobile device management) vendor. Samsung makes the hardware, IBM does the virtualisation, BlackBerry does the..?
blackberry  tablet  secusmart 
march 2015 by charlesarthur
BlackBerry CEO: I'm open to creating a tablet again » CNET
Roger Cheng:
BlackBerry may take another run at the tablet market.

That's if CEO John Chen thinks the opportunity is right. "It's not in the works, but it's on my mind," Chen said in an interview at the Mobile World Congress conference here.

A BlackBerry tablet could satisfy the needs of a small but fiercely loyal group of productivity-focused customers who have stuck with the struggling smartphone maker and its operating system, potentially giving it a new revenue stream. But there aren't enough BlackBerry faithful to sustain such a business, especially given the tablet category saw its first year-over-year decline in shipments in the fourth quarter.

"History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce," to quote Marx (not Groucho).
blackberry  tablet 
march 2015 by charlesarthur
Tablet vendors taking new strategies to rekindle sales in 2015 » Digitimes
Apple's shipments of iPad devices in 2014 also highlighted the falling momentum of tablets, said the sources, noting that shipments of iPad devices slid 14% on year to 63.4 million units in the year.

Additionally, consumers' enthusiasm over iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 launched in October 2014 has not been strong, said the sources. Shipments of other tablets, including those from Xiaomi Technology and HTC (the Nexus 9) have also been lower than expected.

Apple's strategy of launching the anticipated 12-inch iPad aims to create a new application market to revive the declining trend, the sources commented.

Notebook vendors, including Asustek Computer, Acer and Lenovo, are expected to reduce their R&D projects for tablets although they will continue to roll out tablets in order to maintain their bargaining chips for the purchase of related parts and components, as well as their brand images, said the sources.

I've heard that HTC shipped fewer than 100,000 Nexus 9s in the fourth quarter. I'd really love to see some stats for usage of Android tablets with Android apps (ie not YouTube or simple web browsing). I suspect it's really low despite how well Android tablets sell.)
tablet  android 
february 2015 by charlesarthur
Amazon takes issue with report that holiday Fire tablet sales fizzled » Re/code
Dawn Chmielewski:
Researcher IDC said Amazon showed the steepest annual decline among the five major tablet makers, with worldwide shipments of its Kindle Fire devices falling by as much as 70 percent compared with the holiday 2013 period. The declines come at a time when worldwide shipments in the fourth quarter fell for the first time since the tablet market’s inception in 2010.

But there’s a caveat in the results: IDC doesn’t count shipments of Amazon’s new six-inch version of its Kindle Fire HD tablet, introduced in September and ranked among the “most wished for” gift items of the holiday season. A spokesperson for the retailer criticized IDC’s methodology, saying “our most affordable tablet ever, the Fire HD 6 at $99, which is one of our high volume products, wasn’t included in the report.” She declined to discuss sales.

Er.. if you're going to call it a "high-volume product", shouldn't you help people out by explaining what that volume is? Doing this is like saying the cake you've got in the fridge is <em>wayyy</em> bigger than people are saying. But then not opening the fridge. Mmm, cake.

But wait, there's more:
IDC Senior Research Analyst Jitesh Ubrani said the researcher doesn’t consider the Kindle Fire HD 6 a tablet because of its screen size and its inability to connect to cellular networks. It’s more of a media player, in the researcher’s view. But even if the estimated 1.2 million shipments of the device were included in IDC’s numbers, Amazon’s holiday tablet shipments would still be off by 50 percent from the prior year, he said.

Soooo... the Kindle has hit its ceiling for sales; the Fire phone was a flop; the Fire tablet has fizzled. Let's look forward to not hearing how the Amazon Echo has sold.
amazon  tablet  fire 
february 2015 by charlesarthur
New Galaxy Tab 5 might have 4:3 aspect ratio as well >> SamMobile
We have already reported that Samsung is working on new Galaxy Tab tablets. It is expected that these tablets are going to have displays with 4:3 aspect ratio instead of the 16:9 aspect ratio that Samsung has stuck with in the past. According to information obtained through the import tracking website Zauba the new Galaxy Tab 5 may also have a 4:3 aspect ratio. The import tracker picked up on a new Galaxy Tab 5 model imported into India and it seems to have a 9.7-inch display, similar to the screen size of Apple’s iPad, which also has a 4:3 ratio.

I've been told - endlessly - that 16:9 is the "right" ratio for tablets because it means you can watch films without letterboxing. Now we find that Google (qua the HTC-built Nexus 9) and now perhaps Samsung are going for 4:3, like the iPad... which has seen the most success in the market.
ipad  aspect  samsung  tablet 
february 2015 by charlesarthur
Worldwide tablet shipments experience first year-over-year decline in the fourth quarter while full year shipments show modest growth » IDC
Worldwide tablet shipments recorded a year-over-year decline for the first time since the market's inception in 2010. Overall shipments for tablets and 2-in-1 devices reached 76.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14) for -3.2% growth, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Although the fourth quarter witnessed a decline in the global market, shipments for the full year 2014 increased 4.4%, totaling 229.6m units.

"The tablet market is still very top heavy in the sense that it relies mostly on Apple and Samsung to carry the market forward each year," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, worldwide quarterly tablet tracker.

Apple, Samsung, Asus, Amazon, all lost share and sales; only Lenovo, third-largest, grew (by 0.3m), which may have been mainly in 2-in-1s. Amazon's dropoff is dramatic in both the Q4 and full year. But remember that tablets are principally going to consumers, have saturated their market, and have a replacement period of around four years. Compare that to PCs, which go to companies and consumers, and were at some times replaced as rapidly as every two years.
february 2015 by charlesarthur
At least 30% of China-based white-box tablet vendors exit market, says report >> Digitimes
As the average gross margin for China-based white-box tablet vendors/makers dropped below 5% in 2014, at least 30% of them have withdrawn from the market and shifted production to mobile power supplies, driving recorders and mobile device accessories, according to China-based National Business Daily (NBD).

White-box tablet production is concentrated in Shenzhen, southern China, and retail prices for such tablets mostly range from CNY299 (US$48.4) to CNY399, NBD said.

That's pretty thin pickings, but suggests the low end of the market is getting cleared out.
january 2015 by charlesarthur
Tablet market misconceptions >> Tech.pinions
Ben Bajarin:
The biggest fundamental mistake most make when they think about the tablet category is to see it as only one thing. When, in reality, there are many tablet markets. To use a somewhat imperfect analogy, we can use the automotive segment. The auto industry will lump annual sales of all motorized vehicles, cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, RVs, etc., into a single statistic. The point of this statistic is to simply show how many motorized vehicles were sold each year. Yet, to truly speak accurately about the automotive industry, it is more helpful to see the entire category broken out into each segment. At a big picture level, it is fine to know how many motorized vehicles were sold each year, but that alone doesn’t actually tell us anything truly helpful.

Wonder if the analyst companies will be able to segment the market in the way that Bajarin sees it. My guess is that it might, but only for (high) paying customers, not general consumption.
january 2015 by charlesarthur
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