Traditional PCs aren’t as appealing to users anymore compared to tablets, which continue to rise in popularity with consumers not only because more and more affordable prices, but because they come bundled with app experiences that make the user’s life easier. The Guardian notes that tablets are now providing for many of our most important computing needs, from media consumption apps such as Netflix and Spotify, to social networking via Twitter and Facebook, to casual (and hardcore) gaming, to business and productivity use. More →
There will be over 285 million big brand tablets in use by the end of the year, a new report from ABI Research shows, from well-known devices makers including Apple, Samsung and others. Apparently the report does not include cheaper tablets made by less known players in the tablet business, also known as white-box tablets. In the U.S., more than 70 million tablets will have been purchased by the end of the year, “about one for every four persons.” More →
Samsung will reportedly launch a variety of new Android tablets in the first quarter of 2014, including models that will get the “Pro” moniker, if Sam Mobile’s insider is to be believed. The company is working on three such Pro tablets that will be part of two families, the Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy Note, as follows: 8.4-inch Galaxy Tab Pro (SM-T320/T325), 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab Pro (SM-T520/T525), 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 (SM-P900/P905). A “Lite” tablet is also apparently in the works, the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 Lite (SM-T110/T111). More →
It’s a well-known fact that the tablet market has become increasingly competitive in recent years, but one small manufacturer is attempting to undercut even the most affordable tablets with its $37.99 device called the UbiSlate 7Ci, also known as the “world’s cheapest tablet.” According to The Guardian, the Android tablet was originally designed as part of an educational program by the Indian government, but it has since seen commercial release in the United Kingdom and the United States. More →
Smartphones and tablets may not deliver the gaming quality you get from dedicated portable consoles such as the PS Vita and the Nintendo 3DS… but they’re definitely catching up. VentureBeat reports that chipmaker ARM has acquired Geomerics, a graphics technology firm that specializes in making realistic lighting and imagery in video games. And Geomerics’s Enlighten technology has some very impressive notches under its belt since it’s been used in big-time games such as Battlefield 4, Need for Speed Rivals, Eve Online, and Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Carl Almgren, who serves as head of development for Electronic Arts’ Frostbite Engine, says that Enlighten has “helped EA provide new levels of realism and gameplay experience,” so it should be exciting to see what it can do on tablets and smartphones with ARM-based chips.
It’s not all doom and gloom for devices other than smartphones. Canalys predicts that tablets will split the computer market with notebooks and desktops in 2014, taking a 50% share of next year’s shipments. Tablets had already caught up to within half a million units of worldwide notebook shipments in Q3 2013, but as traditional PC sales continue to decline, tablets are going to pick up the slack. More →
As affordable tablets make their way to the market, overall tablet ownership continues to grow. Pew Internet reports that tablet ownership increased to 34% in 2013 among U.S. adults over the age of 16. When adding eReaders into the mix, the ownership number for slates shoots up to 43%. This report shows a 10% jump over last year’s numbers, which contained the biggest year-over-year increase in tablet and eReader ownership to date. These numbers should be especially encouraging for Amazon and Samsung, both of which recently released new tablets and e-book readers, as well as Apple, which is planning to unveil a new tablet lineup next week.
As name brand tablets begin to penetrate the Chinese market, less expensive tablets keep seeing their prices cut to stay ahead of the curve. Digitimes reports that “white-box” (more affordable) tablet vendors are able to keep putting pressure on Apple, Samsung and other electronics giants by using entry-level processors from China-based chipmakers and China’s supply chain to their advantage. IDC released data earlier this year showing a sharp decline in Apple’s tablet market share in China. The rise of the affordable white-box tablets has been notable not only in China, but around the world, and the demand will continue to grow as prices continue to drop.
As our options for portable computing continue to expand, the market will become increasingly segmented. This has led market research firm IDC to lower its tablet forecast over the next few years from shipments totaling 229.3 million units this year to 227.4 million units. Although many tablets have failed to make an impact despite enormous marketing campaigns and others seem doomed before they even hit store shelves, IDC is confident that emerging markets will begin to take over when mature market sales level off. In fact, the mature market is expected to sink “from 60.8% of the worldwide market in 2012 to 49% by 2017.” More →
Consumers are still buying larger tablets but it seems as though they’re now more drawn to cheaper, smaller models such as the iPad mini and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. Research firm DisplaySearch has found that “LCD tablet PC panel shipments reached 27 million units in March… primarily driven by 7-inch panels, which accounted for 48% of total tablet PC panel shipments.” The rise of smaller tablets is hardly surprising given the aggressive pricing that both Google and Amazon have established with their $200 7-inch tablets. However, DisplaySearch says that some of biggest growth is coming from emerging markets where white label manufacturers are selling 7-inch tablets for as little as $69 and putting significant pressure on established tablet manufacturers’ profit margins.
European governments are casting a baleful eye on the explosive smartphone and tablet growth. The problem for many Europeans lies in the way these devices promote vehicles for American entertainment — from Amazon and Netflix to Apple and Disney. The new proposal made by the president of France would slap a 1% tax on all smartphone and tablet retail sales, with a goal to protect “l’exception culturelle”. This exception is a concept France created in 1992 to defend protectionist measures aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of France. More →
Tablets may indeed herald the coming of a “post-PC world,” but that world won’t arrive for another few years, NPD said on Tuesday. According to the latest NPD DisplaySearch figures, tablet shipments in 2016 will top 350 million units, putting them ahead of notebook shipments for the first time ever. NPD projects that tablet shipments will have a compound annual growth rate of 28% over the next five years as the total number of shipments rises from 121 million in 2012 to 416 million in 2017. Notebooks, meanwhile, will see shipments grow from 208 million in 2012 to 393 million in 2017. More →
Barnes & Noble has taken to personally debunking the rumor that it will be in any way involved in Microsoft’s mystery news today. Although speculation ran rampant over the weekend that Microsoft would be releasing a tablet in collaboration with the bookseller, a company spokesman today told Benzinga that it has nothing to do with the rumored Microsoft tablet. Without Barnes & Noble in the mix, speculation on the new tablet shifts to how it will integrate with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console. CNET, for one, reports on rumors that the new tablet will double as an Xbox controller that will “include an ARM processor from Texas Instruments for ‘Kinect workloads,’ as well as custom IBM engine for ‘scale out.’ ” More →