What’s driving the great tablet slowdown?
BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, forecasts that global tablet shipments will grow at just a 9% compound annual rate over the next five years, an unexpectedly quick deceleration from the triple-digit growth rates seen in the tablet market’s early years.
We conducted a BI Intelligence survey on tablet ownership, usage, and purchase intent to gain insight into why tablet sales have slowed, and which brands are vulnerable.
We generated close to 700 responses, here are the five most important highlights of what we learned.
- The core market for brand name tablets is saturated: 92% of our survey respondents already own a tablet, and 80% of them own high-end brands, including Samsung, iPads/iPad Minis, and Nexus devices. Because of their demographics (Over 70% lived in the U.S., U.K., or Canada, and 59% earned incomes higher than $US100,000 annually), our respondents represent a good sample of tablet manufacturers’ core market — affluent consumers in developed economies.
Tablet owners are taking a long time to replace their ageing devices with new ones: 44% of our respondents had bought their tablets in 2012, 2011, or 2010. But demand for replacement devices was soft, even for three- and four-year-old devices. People aren’t eager to upgrade.
- Tablets are not true mobile devices, so they see less wear and tear: While a majority of respondents said they use their tablet daily, 93% told us they use their tablet primarily on Wi-Fi (this includes 20% of people who had cell access but still used their tablet mainly on Wi-Fi).
- Phablets are competing with tablets for consumer interest.One-third of our survey respondents said they are considering buying a phablet in the next two years.
- Despite the tablet market’s overall weakness, Apple still has good positioning among prospective tablet and phablet buyers. For example, 54% of consumers planning to buy a tablet in the next year plan on purchasing an iPad or iPad Mini.
In full, the report:
- Gives detailed survey results including purchase intent/loyalty among iPad and iPad Mini owners.
- Breaks down full numbers on tablet user stats including percentage who use cell plans with their tablets, percentage who share their tablets, frequency of usage, and interest in phablets.
- Analyses the tablet market’s recent quarterly performance.
- Discusses market share trends for tablet makers like Apple and Samsung.
- Forecasts annual global tablet shipments through 2019.
- Correlates recent tablet market trends with recent consumer sentiment, revealed by the survey’s results.
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