iPad breakup

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Voices


Back in 2011, I was having an all-consuming love affair with tablets. At the time, I was the first-ever head of mobile at Netflix. I saw tablets in my sleep, running apps that would control homes, entertain billions and dutifully chug away at work. Tablets, I was convinced, were a third device category, a tweener that would fill the vacuum between a phone and a laptop. I knew that was asking a lot — at the time, however, I didn’t know just how much.

I wasn’t the only one swooning in the presence of the iPad and its imitators. Everyone was getting in on the love fest. The typically sober analysts over at Gartner were going ballistic with their shipment predictions for the iPad, and a flurry of soon-to-be-launched Android tablets. Amazon (Kindle Fire), Barnes & Noble (Nook Tablet), HP (TouchPad running webOS) and even BlackBerry (PlayBook) all rushed into the market to take on Apple, which commanded 70 percent of the tablet market one year after Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPad. On the software side, startups like Flipboard, tech giants like Adobe and even large enterprises like Genentech were quickly assembling teams to take advantage of this new platform.

Now — three years and 225 million tablets later — I’m starting to see how misplaced that passion was.

The tablet couldn’t possibly shoulder all the expectations people had for it. Not a replacement for your laptop or phone — but kinda. Something you kick back with in the living room, fire up at work and also carry with you everywhere — sort of. Yes, tablets have sold in large numbers, but rather than being a constant companion, like we envisioned, most tablets today sit idle on coffee tables and nightstands. Simply put, our love for them is dying.

In some ways, I shouldn’t be surprised — the tablet has let me down before. A decade ago, I was at Microsoft trying to convince both consumers and big companies to buy tablets. A number of hardware manufacturers were partnering with Microsoft to finance and market the development of devices running Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition — a mouthful, yes, and not many customers were interested in even taking a bite.

We teamed up with HP, Toshiba, NEC and Fujitsu, all of whom spent millions alongside Microsoft, and failed to create a bona fide category at the time. Why? “Tablet PCs,” as they were known, required a stylus (versus today’s touch-interaction model), and more importantly, only had a few tablet-optimized apps. We now know that’s a recipe for disaster.

But a few years later, it seemed that the world had changed, and the tablet was finally going to live up to all its promise. At Netflix, the tablet was stealing time from the browser with increasing speed month after month. To take advantage of that shift, I focused our entire team’s efforts on a complete redesign of the tablet app. We introduced a slew of features that took advantage of the screen size and touch interface. It was, if I may say, beautiful.

Post-launch, the new app significantly increased retention and streaming hours. It won reviewer praise, barely missing out on winning the Best Tablet App of 2011 at the Crunchies — it was a hit. And then it seemed, as soon as it had arrived, the tablet lost its momentum.

At Netflix, we witnessed a dramatic increase in phone usage for the streaming service — all that binge-watching of “Sons of Anarchy” and “House of Cards.” The reason was obvious: As phone apps improved in terms of quality and speed, users abandoned their tablets for the device in their pocket that could access the Web anywhere and anytime from Wi-Fi or cellular connections. Conversely, only 12 percent of tablets have cellular connections, instantly making them non-mobile devices. And very few people will shell out for a second wireless plan in addition to their phone. Based on the momentum of the phone, Netflix decided to merge the tablet and phone UIs.

Even the awards circuit lost interest in the tablet. The year after our tablet app premiered, the Crunchies ditched the Best Tablet App award. They haven’t brought it back since.

What I realize now is that it has been the phone all along. What we are witnessing today is a merger of phones and tablets, not just at Netflix but everywhere, which is why this decade’s attempt at tablets is nearing its death — just four years after Jobs launched the original iPad.

It comes down to size. The vast majority of the hundreds of millions of people who use tech every day are just fine with having two primary computing devices: One for your pocket and one for your desk. Tablets are trying (and failing) to be portable enough to go everywhere, yet large enough to be multipurpose. Despite all the keyboard origami and elaborate ways to make your tablet into a laptop, it isn’t one.

Stop trying. Consumers know it — the latest sales data has shown that worldwide tablet sales may have already peaked. PCs took a full three decades to reach market saturation, whereas tablets may have already topped off at the four-year mark.

So, how do tablets evolve from here? What we’ve seen Apple do is shrink the tablet and stretch the phone. Rumors abound that it will launch a five-inch phone later this year, which would follow in the path of successfully launched products from Samsung, HTC and dozens of other Asian phone manufacturers. Follow the trend to its logical conclusion, and it’s quite possible that the two categories will merge this decade.

I’m not saying that tablets will disappear completely. Tim Cook believes that tablet growth will recover as enterprise adoption accelerates and CIOs become convinced of the merits of the platform. But it’s also possible that tablets may simply evolve into single-purpose devices found in kitchens, schools and other situations where keyboards are cumbersome and large screens are preferred.

That’s not quite the revolution that we all originally had hoped for. More to the point, China and the rest of Asia may teach the world that convergence to a single five-inch device that fits in your pocket or purse will be the best route to profits. “Phablets” like the Oppo N1 running Cyanogen may have already launched the third and final wave of “tablet” innovation.

Cue the sad music for the tablet we all loved, and that many still do. Except now as I glance over at my original iPad, iPad mini, Kindle Fire and Motorola Xoom, acting like paperweights, I realize I don’t miss them — especially when I am curled up with my five-inch phone fitting comfortably in one hand. Love is harsh, the pace of technology innovation is harsher, but the future certainly does look phabulous.

Zal Bilimoria is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, focusing on investments in mobile, marketplaces and the sharing economy. He recently joined @a16z after spending the last 10 years in product management roles at Microsoft, Google, Netflix and LinkedIn. Zal was also the co-founder/CEO of Snip.ly, a content curation startup based in San Francisco. Reach him @zalzally.



106 comments
John Y
John Y

I gifted my iPad away in 2012 and replaced it with a Chromebook. Loved my iPad but I cannot do anything meaningful with it other than consuming content. Fast forward to where we are in 2014 with the upcoming native support for Office with iPad. I might be giving the iPad a second chance ;)

Nlmcc
Nlmcc

Well my friend, it's clear from your article that you are still a relatively young man. Why would I say that? You make no mention in your article of those of us who are over 50, with failing eyesight, who prefer the screen size of our tablets over that of our phones. That is not even to mention how much our hands appreciate the size of our tablet keyboards over that of our phones. This is because we are the ones who have been using various computer screens and keyboards since their introduction in the 70's. It turns out that a tendon can only take so much abuse from one or two finger typing on a phone keyboard before it cries out for relief. Your eyesight just seem to go no matter what you've been doing with it all those years. I'm sure, though, that these small phone screens have certainly hastened the decline.

MotelSunRay
MotelSunRay

I find it strange that there is no mention of the large community of artists who are using the iPad (and other tablets) as traveling studios and more.  My entire studio is on my iPad. I use it exclusively and it goes Everywhere.  Not to mention movies for a travel break, audio books to listen to while I paint, my accounts, my contacts, my appointments.  My phone or my laptop cannot replace the iPad. studio.  For unlimited creativity the tablet, so light and portable and touch surfaces is NOT going away.  For years I tried taking those travel watercolor kits, all the jumble of brushes, water bottles, etc. became maddening.  I can do a watercolor postcard now, no fuss, and email it, text it or even have someone else print it. We are only beginning to see the potential for this. To dismiss it as a child's or housewife's accessory is specious logic.

bikeguy
bikeguy

I was planning a trip to Italy last September and wanted to bring along something that would allow me to stay in touch via email at the hotels, hold my guidebooks and some pleasure reading, take pictures and  watch a season of Boardwalk Empire in the evenings. My laptop seemed to heavy, and my phone too small to offer pleasurable experiences writing longer emails, reading books and watching longer videos. So, I bought an iPad Mini, and it worked great. I also noticed that, like me, 1/4 to 13 of the other tourists were using their tablets, not their phones or cameras, to take their vacation snaps. Tablet sales may be slowing down, but they're the best options in too many cases, such as when traveling, to go away any time soon.

sean_themighty
sean_themighty

 This is all fine and dandy assuming that you like a big phone.


I don't.

I really like the iPhone 4/5 sized screens and then having an iPad mini (retina) as a companion. I have small hands and good eyesight. The smaller of the two devices in tandem is a perfect pair for me.

joeaverage
joeaverage

I bought a case with a wireless keyboard keyboard for my Samsung and find that I do about 2/3 of what I use my laptop for beyond 3D CAD work. Long office documents and spreadsheets I rough out on my tablet on the go and refine on my laptop. text communications such as websites and email are easily done on the tablet with a keyboard. I don't particularly like typing on the screen keyboard of any device especially a phone. Perhaps if I had smaller female-like hands?


The tablet is a wonderful tool for all sorts of tasks and I still use mine a great deal. 


What I want to see is more versatility in how I use it with other devices. My Roku allows anyone in our house to move multimedia from their device to the TV in a touch of the screen icon. WONDERFUL feature. 


I'd like to be able to pair the tablet to my desktop or laptop and interact with it more. I'm impressed with the many ways that Android allows me to share text or pictures or other files via the internet, a cloud service or even plain old bluetooth (my favorite).


No, the tablet's era is far, far from over. The author may be ready to move on. The folks who consume silly games or social websites or little distractions may be waning but the rest of us who use tablets and laptops as mobile computing devices - we are just getting started.

Rush2112
Rush2112

Tablets are for house wives and children.  Good article.

TomMariner
TomMariner

Sometimes ya need a computer with a keyboard, other times a tablet with touch. I use a convertible ultrabook and am quasi-pleased.


Interestingly, and to the article's aim -- I get all my books on my S4. Sure, I can read them on a bigger screen, but when I am waiting for ten minutes, it takes seconds to get to where i left off. I like my entertainment on a big flat colored panel on the wall, but even for that, I use my phone to tell one of my chromecasts how to connect, and I have entertainment.


But the biggest deal of all -- Freedom! We all get to choose our preferences. Our eyesight, background, mobility, etc. all play into what we prefer. Granted, some fans have their minds locked into a manufacturer or modality, but 

Bruinwar
Bruinwar

My gal has a iPad, I never liked it.   I used a Android tablet for a couple years, never really liked it. 

Last weekend I bought a Surface Pro.  LOVE IT!   I got it all, a tablet for morning coffee reading & evening chromecasting HBOGO, Netflix, Hulu...   Plus an ultra portable laptop I can log on to work & get things done.  I got STEAM loaded on an external drive & surprised how decent the gaming is.


OK so I am by no means a huge Microsoft fan.  But it's what my company uses & the only way I can VPN in.  It runs all my work software.  One device.  


Lousy battery life & yea it's heavy.  The only minus's so far. 


Da Ge
Da Ge

I recently replaced my Windows XP laptop with a Windows 8 laptop and looking to get a new Android big-screen phone, an upgrade from my Galaxy Nexus. My big-screen Android phone and Windows computer works great together. 


Tablets are too big to fit in the pocket, and a mobile OS tablet is not as useful as a real computer.

wmb
wmb

big phones are dumb. i use my pad more and more and look forward to new models with increased memory.

Kevin Fream
Kevin Fream

All I know is my Surface has definitely replaced my notebook at much less weight and much more power than an iPad.

billytbones
billytbones

Wow. What a bizarre set of conclusions. I rarely, if ever have seen anybody watch a full-length movie on a phone. Short videos, maybe a TV show. I travel all the time and people are using tablets to watch TV and movies on planes all the time. Netflix doesn't know this because they only stream. I may kick back in a hotel and watch Netflix with my iPad (on WiFi), but that won't happen with my phone.


In my home, we no longer have any laptops. We have one good quality desktop with a nice big monitor that allows for high productivity work. My wife and I also each have an iPad (WiFi only is fine for us) that we use more than we ever used a laptop for. This is what works for us.

MarkusB
MarkusB

Couldn't disagree more. Some guys just misunderstood what the form factor "tablet" is all about. There will be gazillions of tablets in the future - just not as *personal* devices, which you carry around with you all of the time ... but as gadgets lying around everywhere, which you will pick up to read, browse, learn, consume "media", get guidance etc.

Cintos
Cintos

Greetings:  Some very good dialogue here.  As the features and performance of phones, tablets and desktops converge there is bound to be significant overlap.


Allow me to share one enterprise solution which I take advantage of on my iPad: virtual display interface - VDI. My company offers a persistent VMware Horizion View image of a Win7 desktop, with all the corporate apps and data access, along with a built-in VPN connection to the corporate network with 2-phase authentication (RSA fob + network identity credentials). I can pop that up on my iPad Mini (VZ wireless) and get a reasonably large view of the desktop. 


At the same time, I run that VDI image on my desktop MacPro on my 2nd monitor, and have access to it from my iPhone 5 and my 15" MacBookPro. As an IP professional by day, and an amateur geologist/photographer/automobile buff by night, the kit allows me to bridge both worlds and keep sane. And it keeps the corp security folks happy, because there is a strong firewall between the corporate sphere and my private one.


As for sharing files, I like Syncplicity - it has a fresh new iOS interface and works great on all those venues.

RonC150
RonC150

As I read the article and the comments, one size does not fit all. I bought my first iPad because it had an aviation navigation app, period, and still use my third gen iPad for the same reason. I have since added other app's and a bluetooth keyboard for when I cannot use my laptop but need to get work done. (pages, numbers and keynote which with the last release work very well with MM Office.)


The bottom line is what do you need your device for, and what works best. If you work from home or in an office, a desktop or laptop probably works best. If you need to be mobile and laptop is still to bulky a tablet may fit the bill. 


I know people who could not justify the cost of an iPad or iPhone and to this day are not happy. One friend bought five different tablets before he realized you could have had iPad and finally bought one. Now he is kicking him self, or should say his wife is kicking him for not buying one in the first place.


Lastly it comes to personal choice and available options.


PS: I have used PC's since 1982 when my need was to do a depreciation spreadsheet of IBM mainframe and third part equipment and forecast future acquisitions. 

TomN33
TomN33

Classic link bait headline.


The author also was not "Head of Mobile" at Netflix as he alludes to in the very first sentence of the article.

AJ-0000
AJ-0000

I should add that unlike most tech articles, the guy who wrote this one knows what he's talking about. It's a shame that you have to wade through so much nonsense to get to really useful and/or insightful tech articles. 

AJ-0000
AJ-0000

My personal experience of navigating this stuff had some trial and error, but what I've settled on is an iPhone 5S, a Surface Pro 2, and a maxed out Dell XPS laptop. I went with a Samsung Galaxy S4 for a while. The larger screen was definitely a plus for surfing the web, reading, and playing games. But ultimately I decided that the simpler design and unified system of the iPhone works better for the things I really need a phone to do. As for tablets, I held out for a long time. I never saw the need for a large iOS or Android device. Those are the ones this article is criticizing, and rightly so. They're toys. They leave you wanting more. It took the Surface Pro 2, running a full OS, with more horsepower (and improvements over the original Surface Pro) to convince me to buy a tablet. It can do the things the article is complaining about other tablets not doing. I have found it very useful. If I didn't still need more power and a larger screen for certain things I do - things most people don't do, like music production and gaming - I could use the Surface Pro for everything. I've transitioned many things I used to do with my laptop to the Surface Pro, leaving the Surface Pro as my main daily computing device, and my laptop as a clean environment for specific tasks.


My hope is that there continue to be options. Things need to sort themselves out, and competition and choice are the best ways for that to happen.

psigrist
psigrist

I'm guessing my experience will be similar to many - I tend to the best screen and UI available with the least effort. So my iPad took over from my laptop and phone at launch. Then the screen on my phone improved and some nice design tricks learned from the tablet migrated to phone, so the phone regained a little against the tablet. Then I got Apple TV and so could watch things from the sofa using my phone as a remote. Finally, I got a laptop with retina screen. As a result of these developments, my iPad is currently used only in meetings (with Evernote). And that's just about it. But I'm sure there could be a new iteration to bring it back to life. A 13 inch tablet could be interesting, as could a 5-6 inch "phablet". In short, the tablet category is not my weapon of choice: for a while it offered the best experience, and won. And it might do again.

Greg G
Greg G

Honestly this article seems a bit more like link bait.    All I know is when I'm commuting, all I see is a sea of tablets in use on the trains, and I know I use the living crap out of my iPad Air as I did my original iPad.   Sorry, but a 5" phone just doesn't cut it.

JefinLondon
JefinLondon

Totally agree. 


My iPad collects dust, while my 5" phone is in constant use. When I need a computer I use my laptop and when I read it's my trusty Kindle. 


Don't get the tablet really. I tried, I  really did. 

cezary
cezary

Phablets, not tablets, are the real fad. Not only do they look silly, they're also awkward to use and they don't always fit into your pocket. That's because a larger screen is not always better. Yes, it does eliminate some of the constraints of the existing phone experience. But it also creates a whole host of problems, the most important of which is impeding fast, efficient access to information on the go - the core value proposition of mobile. If you need two hands to wake your device from sleep and even more to access the information you need quickly, then what value is a bigger screen?

obarth
obarth

I think tablets are bumping against phones and laptops+desktops.


I'm not sure much can be done for small tablets once people realize that smartphones are mostly used for reading stuff, and that on the rare occasion a headset isn't being used, a 6" phone stuck to your face is not inherently more ridiculous than a 4" one. That leaves a market for kids, or as a cheap extra, or for people with really small hands, skinny clothes, and good eyes.


On the larger end, I think most OEMs are missing an opportunity. I can't use my tablet a my main PC nor even laptop because of storage, Office, and World of Warcraft (and any numbber of other non-ported apps); and also because ergonomics are not good for long work session: I need a larger screen, a keyboard and mouse, more storage, multitasking... All that is not very hard to fix: a docking station with USB, HDMI, sound (Samsung have a nice one for their S/Note/Mega phones); minimal tweaks to the OS for better kb+ms ergonomics (ctrl-shortcut, ...). Tablet makers are being unambitious by not doing that, and Google insisting on pushing Chrome OS when an fixed version of Android would be so much better for consumers is a bit disheartening.

JimK
JimK

Tablets have their uses. They just don't replace a full laptop with a "full OS" for many power  users or professional users. I see many tablets as simply a variant of a laptop. Especially with the keyboards. The new win8 tablets are truly an evolution of the laptop versus just being a tablet. They run a full operating system instead of a scaled down tablet OS. That's a big difference.


I think there is a glut of devices on the market. Its amazing how many consumers will by up devices because of a fad or trend. I know people that have several phones, tablets and a laptop or computer. They have devices sitting collecting dust.


Outside of the silicon bubble, I bet a majority of middle America still has an old laptop, PC or MAC that they use for most of their web surfing and email. The limited screen size of a tablet or phone can make the web experience for some sites less than palatable. For example, nbc news changed their whole site to accommodate phones and tablets. Its become a horrible experience using that site to read the news now.

emmgee
emmgee

When the first Kindle Fire came out, I was really excited.  I thought a smaller tablet would suit me just fine.  I remember the technorati at that time asking, "But is it an iPad killer!?!"  I thought that was silly.  We have lots of car classes from Fiats to Suburbans.  People buy different kinds of cars depending on whether they want to save gas, haul kids to soccer practice, tow a boat, or show off how rich they are.  


This article says we only need two types of devices something big to work on and something smaller to do other stuff.  Who will want a tablet if there are bigger phones?  Heck, a tablet really isn't that great as a computer.  Who needs it?


My guess is that we'll see relative success of different device sizes according to the fact that people are individual.  Some will like to type on a little tablet keyboard.  Some won't and they'll use a laptop.  Some people (like me) don't want a big phone.  Some people can afford to have a laptop, tablet, and phone and will use each for what they do best.  Why not?


I always say the "P" in "PC" stands for personal.  People's personal preferences are different and will support a broad set of categories.

AURI
AURI

I'm surprised nobody (neither the author, nor the commenters) mentionned Windows 8, being the wannabee tablet-like OS compatible with a laptop. Especially from the author who has apparently been working at Microsoft. 

That was a very important strategic decision, but IMHO its results and quality are all related to the deception of the I-wish-I-could-use-a-tablet-to-do-this-but-I-can't effect that provokes the end of the love affair the author mentions in the article.

Or am I the only one thinking this?

Jerry Gropp Architect AIA
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA

I've found my NOOK tablet works just fine on trips to China and elsewhere. No need to take my LapTop. JerryG-

Rchrdfrdmn
Rchrdfrdmn

In many cases, reading a 400 page manual is easier on a iPad than on a laptop OR an iPhone. No tool is universal. People will choose the tool that fits their needs best, and some people have various needs depending on what they're up to. Many people probably don't need a laptop. Others, like me, couldn't get any work done if all I had was a tablet, cellular or not. Give me more tools, and let me decide how I use them.

sodo1979
sodo1979

Is a tablet with a keyboard really a tablet or just the evolution of laptops? A hybrid of the two?

Mathman6577
Mathman6577

The data doesn't match with the opinion. Tablet sales will surpass PC shipments this year for the first time ever. Only Apple has bucked the trend of declining year over year growth in PCs. Sony is exiting the PC business to focus on phones and tablets.

Patrick Pierra
Patrick Pierra

Zal, I think you are deeply mistaken.


It is true that the notion of tablets being a very clearly distinctive category has developed less clearly than when the iPad was launched. All devices - tablets, smartphones and laptops - have evolved (one could almost say converged) in such a way that, today, we're more seeing a continuum of devices. The difference between a large smartphone and a small tablet is, today, as murky as the difference between a Surface and a hybrid or convertible PC.


But tablets happen to be at the epicenter of the spectrum and and that's certainly not a bad place to be.


Sure, tech pros in the Bay Area will all continue to own and use both a smartphone and a laptop, and tablet may never become their primary device.


But look around:


- Do you have toddlers or young kids? Have you offered them an iPhone 5S with a data plan yet? Do you let them play with the laptop you work with?


- Have you gone to a school or a university lately? Sure, most high-school and all college students have a phone. This was already the situation 4 years ago, wasn't it? But have you noticed what devices have been distributed as the primary learning tool?


- Did you visit a hospital recently? Did you see many nurses and doctors wandering around with a laptop?


- If you have parents over 70, do they really prefer reading their news, browsing facebook and dealing with email on their rather-small-screen phone? As their own mobility decreases, and unless they have specific tasks for which a computer is better suited, many elder people have happily adopted tablets as their main computing device - specially if they did not have a long experience of computers.


For people who have two devices, there is little doubt that one of them will be ultra-portable and with ubiquitous connectivity - let's call it a phone - and the other one will have a larger screen and a keyboard. This may be a laptop, but it could also very well be a tablet with a keyboard.


But many, many people will have three devices - including a tablet, mostly for home and long-commute time; mostly for media consumption and small, daily tasks; but, for some people, it will also be a primary work device (in-the-field sales people, utility repairmen, etc.)


And for the many people who may only have one device - young children, older people, second or third people in a household who can't justify owning and paying all three devices for themselves; and many people in emerging countries where cost is a major issue -, many of these will be happy to settle for a tablet.


At TabTimes, we have compiled many stats about the State of the Tablet Market and it would be hard to dispute that tablets and tablet apps are already a huge market. The notion that tablets may have "topped off" is laughable.


****

I have a lot of respect for the Crunchies, but considering the existence or disappearance of a category as a reliable signal for deep tech trends? Come on.


You apparently don't know it, but since the Crunchies lost interest in tablet apps, there has been a global competition, called the Tabby Awards, fully devoted to tablet apps. (I am the founder of this competition.)


The Silicon Valley is a nice place. But it's also a very tiny place to appreciate the fundamental change that tablets are bringing to the world.




obarth
obarth

Tablets are indeed sandwiched between smartphones and laptops or desktops. 



At smaller sizes, I think phablets are mostly going to kill 7" tablets. Once people wrap their head around the fact that a 6.5" phone is not more ridiculous stuck to your face than any other size phone (also phones are mostly used as computers, not as phones, and even then, often with a headset), and now that bezels have gotten thing enough for phablets to be pocketable and usable one-handed, there's really no reason to stay with squint-inducing stamp-sized displays. I'm being told that even Apple are finally seeing the Light. Apart from the phablet-allergic, the other market is the pre-phone demographics: kids.


At larger sizes, the use case is in the end replacing laptops, which opens a wide opportunity for MS and Windows, because those are much better for serious work. 10-13" tablets are not very handy on the go anyway, but large enough for semi-serious work, especially with a clip-on keyboard and mouse. My next tablet is going to be a Laptop Replacement, the main caveat is that my laptops have 1TB drives to hold a few days of movies, and Office for serious work, and World of Warcraft. I'm not ready to blow $500+ on a "pro" tablet that can"t do those 3.



Vipul S. Chawathe
Vipul S. Chawathe

iPhone5S has ARMv8 CPU. Intuition coupled with http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/01/arm-finally-defines-a-platform-as-it-sets-its-sights-on-the-server-room/#p3 there'll tablet form-factor PC successor. Phablet requirements were met by lesser CPUs. Phablets not only are tightly coupled with cloud-centric business model but also make money for mobility careers. The PC successor ARM systems will power the Internet of decentralized peers, where 3rd party mobile career centric cloud will get reduced to another optional peer amongst many. Therefore the big tablets wave will come only after the cloud has peaked.

JoshuaTalley
JoshuaTalley

I have an iPad 2 and a Nexus 7 ('13). I have used Samsung tabs in the past. The iPad is collecting dust under my desk. I use my N7 every day...most often for games, reading, and anything else I can do with a phone that is just nicer on a bigger screen. I should note that I have the version which includes mobile data (200MB free from T-Mobile + 500MB $10/mo plan) and I will use it as a hotspot for Glass, a source for map data when traveling, and watching a movie in bed with my wife. But if I didn't have this add-on, I'd just use my phone's data.


While I like the idea of carrying an iPad around as a desktop replacement, it just won't happen. There is too much that I need to be able to do that an iPad is not meant to do (file sharing...seriously awful). I carry a Chromebook (Pixel) when I travel. It, too, has free data built in (and more if I want to pay for it). Oh, and I can actually see everything I need on the web with it.


This post is likely much more interesting to people in the Valley, but soon enough, I'm sure many others will start to see it as true.

MotelSunRay
MotelSunRay

Oh.  Nevermind!!--I get the click bait!  And all those suspicious pro-Surface comments, makes me feel the product placement. Sheesh.

SenderF
SenderF

@Rush2112 Add older folks to these 2 groups (poor eyes and thick fingers don't like 5'' screens) and you get a market that at least 50% of population, not a bad market by any means...

zato
zato

@Kevin Fream  


 Microsoft is going nowhere in tablets, so it sends its paid shills to kill the tablet market.

joeaverage
joeaverage

@AJ-0000 I've used the Windows gadgets and they are fine as long as a person's gadget doesn't catch a virus. They VERY same problem since the 1990s. In ensure this doesn't happen the user has to be savvy enough to avoid the potholes of the internet or they need to run security software in the background that might slow the device down or empty the battery more quickly. Since this is case, I recommend to friends and family that they either go Linux (Android) or Apple. These friends and family tend to get in trouble once or twice a year with some email or browser pop-up that looks "legit" but torpedoes their operating system.


If was to design the "ultimate" tablet it would run Mint Linux KDE (free) and have several USB ports (say three) and an SD card slot in addition to a micro-SD card slot for memory expansion. The USB ports would make it easier to pair the device with thumb drives, wired keyboards, and printers. Wireless works just fine but sometimes it is faster to just plug in that device for a few minutes. And this isn't a problem particular to Linux, it is a problem more often for me with Windows - though tons better than it used to be. 


I'm not a Windows hater - I really like Win7 for example - but I like Linux better mostly for flexibility and the viruses issues. I personally have not had a computer virus in years but when I'm clenaing up for friends and family - it can take hours or a whole OS reinstall.

joeaverage
joeaverage

@obarth Would be nice to plug in my Samsung Android device and gain a second or third monitor automagically. Planning to figure this out in Linux and add Synery so I can interact with my Tablet with the same mouse/keyboard I'm typing on while using my laptop all day.

joeaverage
joeaverage

@obarth Wait until your eyesight begins to go with age. Then that larger tablet screen will make better sense. No everybody has 20/20 vision. 

JimK
JimK

@AURI  Windows 8 has been a mixed bag. It was a smart move to make windows an OS that can also work on smaller devices like a tablet or phone. The problem is that a majority of users still use windows on a desktop. The way Microsoft merged their tablet UI (metro) with the classic desktop UI was met with much criticism. Its a very jarring experience. What they should have done was allow for two different modes and keep those UI's separate. The mixed mode is a bit of a mess and quite confusing to use. With that said, windows 8 on tablets like the surface pro or dell venue has proven to be a very powerful player in the tablet space. A tablet with the capabilities of a full operating system. 

Mathman6577
Mathman6577

@Rchrdfrdmn  Good point. We don't need the tech elitists to tell us what to. We already have the government and news media to do that. 

sodo1979
sodo1979

@Mathman6577  Stop repeating yourself or post some actual data! Shipment numbers don't mean tablets are replacing any other device. Especially PC's since they last longer these days and aren't replaced every 12 mos.

Mathman6577
Mathman6577

Actually data doesn't match your opinion.

joeaverage
joeaverage

@AJ-0000 Where did the edit button go? Am suffering from fat finger syndrome today. ;)

Mathman6577
Mathman6577

Did I say replace? Please reread. I said surpass. There is plenty of data. One analysis shows that in emerging markets many people are skipping PCs for tablets. The market for PCs may bottom out in developed markets. http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/pcs-sales-fell-10--in-2013-134709664.html. The point I'm trying to make is the author is stating an opinion about how some people in a very limited area of the world may or may not be using tablets anymore. In reality tablet use is growing worldwide. Whether or not a tablet is mobile or not is not relevant.

JimK
JimK

@Mathman6577  It does for users in the enterprise. Ipads and some tablets have limits when you want to go beyond basic web, email and games.

Mathman6577
Mathman6577

Please don't tell me what to do. I've read the story a few times. I don't see how an upward trend in tablet shipments means that the "passion is misplaced". It is an opinion that does not match the facts. You can write all you want about it but it doesn't match the data. Apple created the iPad as the intermediary between phone and PC.... it just happens that it is becoming more popular than the PC. In the future the trend may go the other way or a new product category will dominate.

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