The impact of Tablets on Laptop sales. There is, however, a rather interesting twist on this trend that could actually result in a reversal.
It’s becoming clear to some of us researchers that most of the potential PC and Laptop buyers are torn between Tablets and Laptops when it comes to buying a device to match into their business or personal lifestyles.
The iPad finally made the Tablet an effective form factor and put it on the radar of consumers and business users alike.
Apple has sold close to 100 million and most researchers predict that by 2014, the industry will be selling at least 200 million Tablets annually.
This is where the bad news comes in: While the industry is still selling at least 300 million Laptops and Desktops a year, its growth has stalled; IDC reports that PC sales for 2012 will grow by only one percent.
Although Laptops are getting cheaper, thinner, lighter, and faster, consumers are deferring upgrades as they try to identify their ideal balance of Tablet and Laptop use in their lives and determine whether the latter is even necessary.
External Laptop keyboards and hybrid devices only have muddied the waters. Many consumers extol the virtues of a Tablet and keyboard such as Acer Keyboard combo because it lets them do up to 80 percent of what a Laptop does.
These users say that they only turn to their Laptops when they need to do more extensive computing tasks like edit videos, manage large music collections, write long documents, or work with big spreadsheets.
Laptop sales have thus slowed dramatically because most are just extending the life of their current machines because they use them mainly to supplement Tablet use.
While iPads in business settings are primarily for productivity, when their owners are off the clock, they are used mostly for media consumption.
The development of smaller, 7 inch Tablets like Google Nexus 7 at Amazon Marketplace, Amazon’s 7 inch Kindle Fire HD , and a potential iPad mini could finally resolve the dilemma for potential Tablet buyers starting this fall.
These smaller Tablets are much cheaper than the bigger models and will be more appealing to a broader audience. If Tablets are used 80 percent of the time for media consumption and Web browsing and just 20 percent for productivity, then perhaps these smaller, 7 inch Tablets that are cheaper and lighter can perform most of the job.
In buying a 7-inch Tablet, though, the owner’s intention is incredibly clear: to consume media, browse the Web, and use mobile applications.
People will find that a 7 inch Tablet cannot cross over as a productivity device and Compatible Parts the same way a bigger Tablet can today.
Then, Laptops become the device that they use for the majority of their productivity the other 20 percent of the time.202