My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: IDC Stats suggest Tablet Freefall in 2015 – How to sell Tablets using built-in Keyboards and Carrier Unlocked SIM Cards


Sunday, February 8, 2015

IDC Stats suggest Tablet Freefall in 2015 – How to sell Tablets using built-in Keyboards and Carrier Unlocked SIM Cards

“The tablet market is still very top heavy in the sense that it relies mostly on Apple and Samsung to carry the market forward each year. Although Apple expanded its iPad lineup by keeping around older models and offering a lower entry price point of $249, it still wasn't enough to spur iPad sales given the excitement around the launch of the new iPhones”

Senior Research Analyst for IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, Jitesh Ubrani, in a statement on IDC Year-on-year stats showing continued Tablet Shipment decline

Folks, the long anticipated fall in Tablet sales that occurs every five (5) years as I’d predicted is finally happening.

According to the latest Stats from the IDC comparing Tablet sales year-on-year shows the major Tablet makes are all seeing declining numbers as noted in the article “The world is no longer taken with tablets, global sales slip for the first time”, published February 3, 2015 By Trevor Mogg, DigitalTrends.

This is follow-on, West Indies Cricket Style, of the predictions made by BOTH Gartner and IDC that predicted Tablet Declines were in the cards as noted in my blog article entitled “Gartner and IDC Forecast Tablets, PC fall, Smartphone rise - How Tablet's 3-Year Lifespan means Sub-US$199 Smartphones, Chrome OS to Dominate”.

So one can safely conclude that the Tablet shipments are in a freefall, declining along with the PC and Laptop sales!  Btu why exactly? The devil, dear reader is in the details!

IDC Stats say Brand name Tablets Decline – Mysterious “Others” , Lenovo grow thanks to Asia

These stats, however, marks the first ever yearly decline i.e. year-on-year when 2014 is compared to 2013, the sales have been in freefall as noted in the article “Tablets See First-Ever Yearly Decline”, published FEBRUARY 2, 2015 03:05PM EST BY ANGELA MOSCARITOLO, PCMag.

Here are the stats from IDC for you to judge for yourself.

All of the major Tablet maker brands, namely Apple, Samsung, ASUS and Amazon, are showing declines in shipments. Interestingly, only Lenovo and the mysterious “Others” is showing gains in Tablet sales, possibly due to their strong presence in East and South Asia and China. Again, the same stats, only in Bar graph form.

You could say that Tablet Sales have hit a peak, a fact demonstrated more clearly using Bar graphs as shown in the article “Peak tablet? Holiday season slate sales decline from last year”, published Feb. 2, 2015 - 8:49 AM PST by Kevin C. Tofel, Gigaom.

Apple still making a boatload of money – Tablets being killed off by Cheaper 7” Tablets

After you recover from the shock news headline, please take a close look at the stats and you’ll notice something very interesting. In all of the reports I’ve read, the focus seems to be on the Top Brand Name Tablet makers seeing declines, such as Apple and Samsung.

No focus is being paid to this mysterious “Others” at the bottom of the table, which is experiencing phenomenal growth of some 36% year-on-year. It’s also good to note that other analysts are making much of the trend of Phablets and larger smartphones like the Apple iPhone 6 Plus as being the cause of the decline.

This is contrast to the fact that Apple has declared 2014 overall to be a success as they’re making plans to launch the Apple Watch as noted in my blog article entitled “Apple CEO says Apple Watch coming April 2015 - Developer on Red Alert for Customizable Metals and Minerals Sophistication”.

Their reasoning is that with these larges smartphone devices, there’s no need to purchase a 7” Tablet, even though the market trend is towards that size for Tablets as noted earlier 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” and my blog article entitled “US$250 Tablets on Amazon – How 7” Tablets Trend means they’ll be your Christmas Gift”.

What’s really happening here is that it’s not the larger smartphones or the vapour trend of Phablets that’s slowing down sales, but rather the rise of cheaper Chinese so-called “White-Label” Generic Tablets, that can be manufacture in bulk, without branding, and sold to suppliers to rebrand as argued in my blog article entitled “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”.

They are the mysterious “Others” that are showing growth that the analysts choose to ignore, being as they're unbranded Tablets.

Additionally, Tablets are like Laptops; you buy them based on need and if the price is right, and they're usually sold without a contract unless you purchase a Tablet with 3G/4G LTE Built in.
Consequently, there is no psychological pressure or even need to upgrade to the latest versions as is the case with the smartphones on two (2) year contracts.

As such, persons who've purchase Tablets, especially in the Developing World, already have no desire to buy a new one, suggesting that these markets may be saturated with budget Tablets.

Also, thanks to the low-cost of these Chinese “White-Label” Generic Tablets, they’re easy to replace when broken; you can’t do that with an Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

Most Jamaicans who usually have any of these high-end gadgets are gifted them by relatives abroad. For them, replacement may involve having the relative send them another Tablet in the proverbial Barrel. In the meantime, they opt for a cheaper Chinese “White-Label” Generic Tablets.

Tablet shipments in 2015 – The Future is Tablets with Keyboards

Given these statistics, it's therefore no wonder that analyst KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo has predicted a very bad 2015 for Apple iPad sales as noted in the article “ Apple iPad sales are going to get demolished this year, says the world's most accurate Apple analyst”, published FEB. 6, 2015, 1:39 PM by LISA EADICICCO, Business Insider

So with these numbers in, the future for Tablets is just as bleaks as for PC’s which are also seeing a decline as Chromebooks, the successors to Laptops, are on a steady growth spurt fuelled by K-12 High Schools and Colleges as noted in my blog article entitled “IDC Stats say Google Chromebooks dominates U.S. K-12 School System - 1 TB Free Google Drive as Microsoft HP Stream and 12.9-inch Apple iPad in 2015”.

The hope, however, is for a turnaround.  

Tablets need to come with productivity features that make them more than just devices for content consumption. A case with a built in keyboard would help immensely as predicted in my blog article entitled Apple rumoured to be making a Laptop sized Tablet with a Built in Keyboard - Windows 8 Microsoft Surface and Chromebooks Barbarians after Bill Gates Rising Tide”.

Also, the introduction of Carrier unlocked SIM Cards as is the current Strategy being used by the  Apple iPad Air 2 and the Apple iPad Mini 3 would also help to boost the sales of Contract Tablets as predicted in my blog article entitledApple SIM in the Apple iPad Air 2 - How iOS 8.0 Carrier Unlocked SIM sells Apple iPads in Year of the Sheep 2015”.

A huge untapped market of Contract Tablet awaits, even without price cuts, so long as the contracts can be tailored to maintain the flexibility of owning a computer with two (2) year contracts that are basically Prepaid Data Plans.

Even the sale of Tablets with a Mi-Fi device on a contract would help to whet the appetite of customers for Contract plans on Tablets, especially as they'd be able to experience the full reliability of 3G/4G LTE Internet wherever they are without having to check to see if the place they are going always has Wi-Fi.

Finally, there’s always India, China and North Korea, an unthinkable idea but one that bears looking into as Xiaomi ramps up to make a smartphone push in India with their oversized phablet-like smartphones as noted in my blog article entitled “Xiaomi in India after success in China - Xiaomi Looks to the West as the World is theirs for the Taking”. If phablet do well in India, it bodes well for Tablets, even premium brand ones, once the marketing is done right!

These strategies are practical and guaranteed to work in both Developed and Developing world Markets, even if they are saturated.

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