The new year is well under way, and with the new year will undoubtedly come new device releases from many of the major tablet makers. Apple, as you know, releases a new iPad almost every year, and Samsung is already overdue for a refresh on their Galaxy Tab S2 line. At the same time, makers will continue to refresh their products and release new ones. But what will those releases look like this year?
A Look Back
Before we can make any predictions moving forward, we need to examine what the previous year was like for tablet makers. Last year can best be described as a year of mixed results. Tablet sales have been slowing for some time now, and 2016 was no different. However, the slow down was only felt on more traditional tablets. They hybrid tablets and 2 in 1 tablets soared over the last year while sales of regular tablets remained flat.
Many experts this was due to consumers keeping their tablets longer, as more recent versions of tablets have lasted longer than previous models. This is due to several factors. First, the advance of tablet technology has slowed. This means that apps continue to run fine on the hardware as the newer tech that is coming out is only marginally faster than the older hardware. This has allowed consumers to hang onto their devices for much longer before needing to upgrade.
Another major factor has been the economy itself. While it has been growing, no one can deny that it has been slower than it has in the past. Because of the slow economy, many people are hanging onto what they once considered disposable income. That means that they just don’t buy a device. Instead, they use the one they already have or they just do without.
Still, despite these setbacks, overall tablets enjoyed a decent year, thanks to the hybrid designs as people flock to reduce the number of devices they have in their home.
Now that we see how tablets have done over the last year, we can begin to look at what the new year holds for tablets. It should be noted that much of what you read from here on out will be predictions based on our expertise in the market. In the end, we don’t know for sure what the companies will do or what the future will hold. However, based on past experience, I do believe that what we predict here will be accurate.
Continued 2 In 1 Push
If there is one tablet segment that has seen impressive growth, it is the hybrid or 2 in 1 market. These devices are able to convert between tablet and laptop with ease allowing consumers to eliminate two devices in their home for just one. Many consumers have been scooping up these types of tablets in the hopes of reducing the number of devices in their homes. The notion of having fewer devices is quite attractive to many, who look to simplify their digital lives and save a little money in the process.
Because of this fact, expect many of the major manufacturers to continue to produce updated versions of their 2 in 1 products and you can safely bet that more devices will be released in the future. Microsoft, for example, has led the pack with these types of tablets, so expect them to continue to release new products to hold onto that lead and grow their marketshare. You can expect Apple and Samsung to continue to release devices as well with the same purpose. While Apple’s take is a little different with the iPad Pro, expect them to stay dedicated to this line and continue to improve the iPad for a more 2 in 1 experience.
Just because hybrids are the wave of the future, doesn’t mean that companies aren’t still dedicated to releasing traditional tablets. The fact is they still have many different uses, and while the market has shrunk a bit for these, they are still highly profitable for the companies. Apple will continue to refresh its iPad line, and Samsung is due to release a new Galaxy Tab S line anytime now.
At the same time you can expect to see other companies to refresh their tablet lines with a range of tablets in sizes going from 7 inches all the way up to the large screen tablets you are seeing today. You can probably bet the market won’t be as crowded as some small players get out of the business due to lack of sales, but many will remain selling tablets for budget users all the way up to the premium category leaders.
Needless to say, regular tablets aren’t going away anytime soon. It’s a safe bet they will be around for quite some time. Of course hybrids are the most popular today, but regular tablets still have their place and are quite useful to many users.
The tablet market is changing, there is no doubt there. Overall, I believe we will be seeing even more 2 in 1 devices hit the market as companies try to take advantage of the new demand. But we won’t see the end of the traditional tablet any time soon. Some makers will even stay dedicated to this line and release new peripherals to increase their usefulness.
No matter what you may have heard, tablets are here to stay. We will continue to see new units released in the coming year as companies refresh their product lines and strive to release something new. All in all, I believe it will be a great year for tablet lovers.
Are you looking forward to this year for tablets? Do you plan on getting a new tablet this year? Tell me your thoughts about these questions and my predictions in the comments below.