My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: IDC and NPD Group record Tablet Decline and Phablet Rise - “White Box” Chinese Tablets and Wearable Computing in First Quarter of 2014 making Tablets obsolete in the Year of the Sheep

Saturday, June 7, 2014

IDC and NPD Group record Tablet Decline and Phablet Rise - “White Box” Chinese Tablets and Wearable Computing in First Quarter of 2014 making Tablets obsolete in the Year of the Sheep

“Replacing Tablet PCs with large-size smartphones is expected to be a theme in the coming years, expanding on a trend that has mainly been limited to China. As the emergence of large-size smartphones becomes a bigger influence in the US, shipments of small-size Tablet PCs are expected to decline”

 NPD Group Analyst Richard Shim commenting on the decline of Tablet Sales, which is occurring for the first time in four years since the Introduction of Tablets

Tablets were the killers of the Laptop, Mice and even Printers as I’d predicted in my Geezam blog article entitled “How the Apple iPad killed Ultrabooks, Printing and the Mouse as the World Rediscovers Tablets”.

Now Tablets surprisingly are being killed off by Phablets and a host of other factors as indicated by analyst IDC in the article “Phablets to bite into Tablet sales this year, says IDC”, published May 29, 2014 7:05 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News.  Analyst IDC defines a Phablet as a smartphone with a screen size of 5.5 to 7 inches.

The IDC Stats for the First Quarter of 2014 indicate a 10.4% increase in share of total shipments, compared to 4.3% in the First Quarter of 2013. Folks, that double in the space of a year, forcing Program Vice President for Devices & Displays at IDC, Tom Mainelli, to issue this statement that is the sum of all of Apple's fears, quote: “The rise of Phablets -- smartphones with 5.5-inch and larger screens -- are causing many people to second-guess Tablet purchases as the larger screens on these phones are often adequate for tasks once reserved for Tablets”.

Sales globally are trending down by 5% this First Quarter of 2014 based on the Stats of yet another analyst the NPD Group as reported in “Tablet sales slow for the first time, down 5 percent”, published May 28, 2014 11:01 AM PDT by Donna Tam, CNET News.

Guess Minister of Finance Dr. Peter Phillips was getting good advice when he decided to reduce the CET on Phablets and smartphones, with Tablet to come this August of 2014 as stated in my blog article entitled “Council of Trade and Economic Development allows GOJ to remove CET on smartphones - How CET removal from Phablets is the Perfect Storm for CET-Free Tablets by Emancipation Day”.

Apparently it may be a combination of factors that are slowly poisoning the minds of customer against new Tablet Purchases:

1.      Cheaper “White Box” Chinese Tablets
2.      Christmas Sales means no more money to spend until Christmas 2014
3.      Competition from Phablets
4.      Desire for Tablets that can replace Laptops being unfulfilled after five years
5.      Product cycle of Tablets coming to an end after nearly four years of launch since 2010

This is surprising but expected; especially as it has we’re approaching almost five (5) years of Tablets being a part of our Computing Lexicon since  the first Apple iPad made its debut on Saturday 3rd April 2010AD as stated in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad and the future of Mobile Computing”.

But what will replace the Apple iPad and Tablets in general? My Channeling into the Future of the Tablet reveals a pathway to a device long forgotten in the mists of time: smartglasses!

Tablets sales decline in Fourth Quarter 2014 – Phablets and “White Box” Chinese Tablets Unite

Both Apple and Samsung are feeling the hurt, albeit Samsung is managing to put up a fight with increased marketshare globally. However, in terms of physical units, both Apple and Samsung saw the global decline affects sales of both 7” and 10” Tablets.

The Stats tell the tale of the Tablets in the First Quarter of 2014:

1.      56.3 million Units compared to 59 million units in the First Quarter of 2013
2.      16.1% Global market Share for Apple, down 3.9% compared to 20% in the First Quarter of 2013
3.      11% Global market Share for Apple, up 2% compared to 9% in the First Quarter of 2013

The Table for the NPD Group Stats below shows declines across the board as shown below.

“White Box” Tablets, a term that’s a play on “White Label” Music, are now reaching critical mass and recording gains as I’d predicted in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad vs “White Box” Tablet - Jason's Argonauts Home Improvement The Next Big Thing”.

This is possible as albeit sales numbers may decline, the marketshare is based on percentages. So if other see increases in their sales, your percentage marketshare will decline. This is Apple’s Dilemma, even after making the decision to launch an Apple iPad Mini back in 2012 as stated in my Geezam blog article entitled “Apple needs to consider a 7” Tablet as the million-selling Amazon Kindle Fire is Razor Sharp”.

That 7.9” Apple iPad Mini is now in its second iteration as the Apple iPad Mini 2 with the Apple iPad 5 being renamed the Apple iPad Air as reported in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad Air, the World’s Lightest Tablet launched in Silver, Space Grey, White - Christmas smartphone and Tablet Battle Royale as Winter is Coming”.

Tablets vs Phablets – Wearable Computing making Tablets obsolete in the Year of the Sheep

Tablet have indeed lasted long, considering I’d predicted 7” Tablets to be the killers of 10” Tablets due to their conveniently portable size as predicted in my Geezam blog article entitled “The Two Towers of Tablets, 7” Amazon Kindle Fire and 7.9” Apple iPad are the Global Tablet size of Choice”.

Now Tablets face their sternest test coming in 2015, the Year of the Sheep!

Not from the soon-to-be-short lived Trend towards Phablets which even Blackberry is hopping on to by 2016 as stated in my blog article entitled “Blackberry to launch Phablet with Blackberry 10.3 by Fourth Quarter 2014 - Profitability in the Far East as Phablets, BBM 2.0 and Wearables are Trending in 2016”, but Wearables.

Specifically Wearable Computing compose of smartglasses acting as the AR (Augmented Reality)/VR (Virtual Reality) Screen that are Bluetooth-synched to a Smartwatch that can make and receive Calls as prophesied in my blog article entitled “Google Glass launched early as a Product - Google pre-empting Samsung Galaxy Glass and Facebook's Oculus Rift replacing the smartphone in 2015 the Year of the Sheep”.

So Phablets are merely a scapegoat being held up by the analyst IDC, as their pricing due to the fact that they are mainly available on 2 year Contracts mean that they’re not as affordable as a cheaper No-Contract W-Fi Internet enabled “White Box” Chinese Tablet. Phablets are on the rise.

It’s just that the sudden rise of Phablets isn’t really responsible for the slow and deadly decline of the Apple iPad and other Tablet-would be followers. Tablets have been in decline since 2012 when the Amazon Kindle Fire came along as predicted in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad 3 Launch on March 2012 - Amazon Kindle Fire is a Sweet Dream but a Beautiful Nightmare for Apple” and cheaper No-Contract W-Fi Internet enabled “White Box” Chinese Tablet came on the scene!

Despite their Dual-functionality nature, price will predominate and cheaper Chinese Tablets are the real culprit to be blamed for the decline in sales for Apple and Samsung, not Phablets. Phablets will continue to rise, but like the decline in sales numbers for the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, it may be just one Quarter of 2014 as the trend may be reversed later in the year.

Meanwhile Wearable Computers, the Dark Horse in the Year of the Horse 2014, will loom large even in the Year of the Sheep in 2015.
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