Did smartphones kill the tablet?

Just four years after the introduction of Apple’s iPad, tablets already are losing some of their allure to desktop PCs and smartphones, which users seem to prefer for news consumption.

When Apple launched the iPad in 2010, every digital enthusiast was excited. The experts sang the song of the personal computer (PC) death. The future would be touchscreen only. The tablet had conquered the living room and was used as the second screen during TV events.

For the media companies, the new device seemed to come directly from heaven (many thanks to Steve Jobs.) Via tablets like iPad, the paid content dilemma should have been solved. And tablets were the digital news devices of the future.

But was it all a huge dream of the media company managers?

Today’s reality can pop the big dreams. Tablet shipments are going down.

The content issue sales are stagnating. Tablets are frequently used for video, gaming, and surfing — not for digital newspapers or magazines.

The overall market share of tablets is still too low to establish a significant business. The calculated usage of Windows 8, the shipments of large PC displays (larger than 24 inches), and the still increasing sale of smartphones all show the polarity of the device market:

  1. At home for work and high-end consumption = PC + high-definition display.
  2. Out-of-home and in the living room = smartphone with a display larger than 4.7 inches.

In this polarity, there is no room for tablets anymore. The smartphones killed the tablet!

What does this mean for us?

Conquer the desktop app market! Windows 8 is the dominant operating system and, as XP is officially done, the user will accept the new usability. The first media companies that enabled their content on Windows 8 got the best reviews ever (e.g. the FAZ app in Germany). And the desktop offers you multiple chances to create a great app. With a pricepoint included.

Switch your development power and concentrate all resources on smartphone and desktop.

The user will be happy, you’ll see!