Specifically, that’s Windows-powered 2-in-1 PCs hybrid tablet notebooks. Critics say that is what’s killing Apple’s iPad business, even though the iPad business started to fall before Windows tablet notebook hybrid devices really took off.
The Use Case Scenario
Technology critics are a dime a dozen and their perspectives often are worth less. The guy who uses every device, all the time, 24-hours a day– Adrian Kingsley-Hughes– should know why iPads are getting killed. Unfortunately for ZDNet readers, he does not.
A tablet– as defined by the iPad as a very large iPhone without the phone– is a different animal than the hybrids which are little more than flimsy, heavy, Windows notebooks with a touchscreen. The common refrain is that a tablet cannot do real work, when, in reality, a tablet is simply not a PC; not a bona fide Windows PC, not a certifiable Mac. The Windows variety is something of a Franken-PC which mixes two of the three basic features of tablets and PCs, but misses the whole point of being a tablet in the first place.
Franken-PCs use real Windows 10 with some touchscreen controls tossed in so it can be called a tablet, but it’s not really because people don’t use their Windows tablets the same way. The use case scenario is much different than how iPad users use their devices. They don’t try to make it a PC. Instead, they use iPad-specific apps– and there are more of those available than even Windows PC apps– to get done what they need to do.
Death Of Tablets
Apple’s iPads have experienced two straight years of sales declines so clearly something is up in the marketplace. PC sales have not had a corresponding increase, so the Windows tablet-cum-notebook hybrid is merely replacing traditional cheap notebooks with cheap hybrids.
What’s killing the iPad?
Fatigue, large screen phones, multi-tasking.
The fatigue is that we humans can only manage so many devices and the tablet (as defined by Apple and the iPad) cannot really replace a traditional PC or a Mac so users gravitate toward the most bang for the buck. That’s not an iPad.
Second, Apple has not done a good job differentiating the iPad from the current market placement as the device between the Mac and iPhone. It’s too much like an iPhone and not as powerful as a Mac, yet costs about the same. Apple needs to fix the use case scenario.
Third, those large screen smartphones are of sufficient quality, ubiquity, and price that they more easily replace the iPad and iPad-like Android tablets because the only advantage the larger device has is, well, the larger screen.
Does a Windows 10-based tablet notebook hybrid do more than an iPad? No. But what it does is more of what those buyers want in a notebook, not necessarily in a tablet. That’s why such devices are used more like notebooks than tablets.
Finally, multi-tasking is something of a buzzword these days and the iPad just isn’t as good at that as a Mac or Windows PC. It’s not. It could be. It should be. It’s not. And when one device does heavy lifting that another device cannot, one device loses. In a choice of two of three devices– Mac or PC, iPad or tablet, iPhone or Android phone– the one in the middle is the one that gets cut from the list more frequently.