Wait. What? I thought we were moving rapidly into the post-PC era, the one where tablets rule because they can do anything a notebook can do, but lighter and less expensive. Did I hear that wrong? iPad sales may have dropped but iPad usage has not. What gives with that?
The Short Post-PC Era
There are many theories for why iPad sales continue to fall while tablet usage remains mostly iPad and not cheap knockoff competitors.
My personal perspective on the matter lead me to a three-fold reason for the iPad’s slump.
First, the iPad is made too well. They just keep working, keep getting handed down, but still do much the same as ever.
Second, larger screen smartphones have taken up some of the slack, but has the added benefit of being a phone, too.
Third, PC notebooks are dirt cheap and range from $200 to $500 for Chromebooks and Windows notebooks. But there might be another reason for softer than anticipated iPad sales. They’re free.
Free Tablets For All
Cheaper tablets are everywhere, but none of the manufacturers say much about sales. These tablets don’t appear to be used much, either, which leads me to believe that many of the less iPad knockoffs are gathering dust in drawers and closets.
Enter the HP Stream 7 tablet running Windows 8.1. It’s basically a free tablet. For a limited time the limited Windows tablet’s normal $99 price tag has been reduced by $20, to $79. That comes with a $25 Windows Store gift card reducing the price to $54, but it also comes with a one-year Office 365 Personal subscription worth $70.
That makes the HP Stream 7 tablet virtually free.
It has a quad-core CPU, and is preloaded with Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Publisher, OneNote, and Access, plus a full one terabyte OneDrive online storage subscription. Is it any wonder Apple is having trouble selling iPads? Windows manufacturers are giving tablets away for free.