Slowing Tablet Sales Buoyed by Sub-$250 Tablets
While tablet sales overall continue to decline, smaller and less flashy tablets retailing for less than $250 are buoying the market as price-conscious consumers gravitate toward savings over processing power and high-end screen technology.
While tablet sales overall continue to decline, smaller and less flashy tablets retailing for less than $250 are buoying the market as price-conscious consumers gravitate toward savings over processing power and high-end screen technology, according to research from IDC.
And now, Apple (APPL) has thrown its hat in the ring by reducing the price of its first generation iPad Mini to $249, which has resulted in the company’s sales increasing to 56 million in the third quarter of this year. The numbers, which were revealed by Morgan Stanley Analyst Katy Huberty and shared with AppleInsider, seem to signal what everyone in the industry has been thinking for the past several months: The age of booming tablet sales is over.
All of which begs the oft-asked question: Is the tablet market really dead and buried? Or is this just another instance of analysts jumping to conclusions?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a concrete answer at the moment. Its important to consider that while iPad Mini sales have bolstered overall sales for Apple, the average price of the company’s tablets has dropped to $294, leading to a 13 percent year-over-year decline in price, according to IDC. And with Apple among the top tablet vendors on the market, chances are that companies including Samsung, Acer and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) are also seeing their bottom dollar fall short of predictions.
A recent Gartner study found tablet sales are expected to comprise less than 10 percent of all mobile devices this year, down from last year, when tablets made up 55 percent of the market. In fact, tablet sales are only expected to increase by 11 percent this year, fitting perfectly with IDC’s second quarter 2014 tablet sales predictions.
But it’s too soon to lose all hope in tablets making some kind of comeback in 2015, at least for some analysts.
Huberty expects a rising popularity in professional-focused tablets, such as the rumored 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” to potentially pull the ailing tablet market out of the mud and reinvigorate widespread interest in new devices.
With the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, the real litmus test for tablet sales is still yet to come. However, one thing is for certain; it will be important for vendors keep an eye on tablet sales going into 2015 and begin adapting their new devices to fit consumer buying habits if they hope to convince the public to part with their previous generation tablets.