Apple’s weaker than expected tablet sales in Q1 are not an anomaly.
They are the new normal, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.
In a research report, Huberty says she’s cutting her forecast for tablet growth:
We lower our 2014 tablet growth forecast to 12% from 26% on the back of increasing penetration rates and the lack of new, differentiated products. Although slower tablet growth should help PC demand, our global PC model remains largely unchanged at -5% in 2014 and 2015.
She was in Asia, and spoke suppliers about the tablet market:
Most blame weakness on increased penetration rates and lack of meaningful innovation. Few suppliers were able to communicate a credible argument for a growth re-acceleration this year, however Android appears to be faring better than iOS tablets on the back of lower price points and broader product portfolios. Longer-term, suppliers expect larger screen tablets to further cannibalise traditional notebooks.
This is a pretty big call.
After the iPad exploded out of the gates — growing faster than the iPhone, growing faster, perhaps than any other consumer electronics device — people assumed it was going to take over the world.
It still is poised to take over the world, just not as quickly as people think.
There’s a saying in technology, and we’re not sure who to attribute it to, but basically, technological change is overrated in the short term, and underrated in the long term.
That means people see new technology products and they think everything will change immediately, when in reality it takes a while for new technology to change the world. The iPhone feels like it changed everything right away, but really it took a few years.
Think about the dot com boom and bust. Many of the companies that went bust in the first boom have been resurrected in one form or another today. The vision was right, the timing was off.
Similarly, with tablets, the future of computing is going to be more like a tablet, and less like a laptop or a PC. After a hot start, things are cooling, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen.