OK I admit it. I do not have a tablet. I keep asking myself, how can a high tech person like myself not have a tablet? In fact, I just bought a new laptop! What a retro throwback I must be. Am I the only one who does not have a tablet? I know I am not, it just seems like it.
Virtually all of my colleagues, family and friends already have tablets. Many have had them since Apple introduced the iPad in 2010. Yes, it has already been that long. At a recent family gathering, we were all sitting around and everyone but me was staring at a screen, mostly tablets but a few looking at smart phones. I was reading a book, an actual paper book. So yesterday. There was not much conversation other than someone asking another to look at Pinterest this or YouTube that. Another was actually watching a Netflix movie and a teen was listening to music on her smartphone. Is this what family get-togethers have become? I worry that tablets are making more people into couch potatoes. We have become instant gratification information junkies thanks to tablets and smartphones. Maybe less so with a laptop. Or not.
Defending my laptop purchase, I had to be able to print conveniently and I needed Microsoft Office. Besides I like the feel of a real keyboard and mouse rather than a touch screen. So there. I know that some tablets can print, but none run Office. I did look at the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3. It is a laptop/tablet hybrid that would have worked for me with Office 365. But the Surface Pro did not have a CD drive which I occasionally need and it was twice the price I paid for the new laptop. Anyway, the retro laptop is a better fit to what I need. I don’t need to be looking at a screen every minute of the day as some people seem to do.
As it turns out tablet sales are slumping. Both Apple and Samsung report much lower sales. Maybe all those who wanted a tablet now have them and others are still getting along just fine with a smartphone and a laptop. In fact, some say that tablets are truly a fad anyway. A tablet is that thing between the smartphone and laptop that was more a want rather than a real need. That is how I see tablets, nice but just not as useful as our phones and PCs. And I certainly don’t want to turn into a tablet zombie as many have. Is that tablet affliction or addiction? Or both?
The small 7-inch tablet area has been hit the hardest in sales. Some say this is due to the larger smartphone screens available. Most new smartphones have 4-inch or greater screens and some 5 and 6 inch models are available. These larger phones are harder to get used to but those owners I have talked to really like them. Apple’s new iPhone 6 is said to have 4.8 or 5.5 inch screen options. Will that kill the iPad mini and its ilk? It can’t help, that’s for sure.
Tablets certainly won’t go away but will definitely remain a popular niche in which customers do not upgrade as often as they do phones. And the only good reason for upgrading a smartphone these days is a bigger screen. Or maybe a lower cost data plan. What are your reasons for getting or not getting a tablet?