To no one’s surprise, tablets – especially the iPad – are rapidly overtaking traditional computers in many areas. Sales of tablets are brisk, while PCs are down. The Business Insider’s most recent survey on usage of the iPad shows that almost half of the respondents say they use their tablets more than their desktop or laptop computers. Not only that, but the number of multi-iPad households is also about to reach the tipping point. By the end of the year, the iPad – and tablets in general – will be the dominant computing device.
The Business Insider survey was followed by an announcement from Staples President Demos Parneros that he expects Amazon to launch up to 5 or 6 new versions of the Kindle – all potentially featuring revamped hardware on the tech end. This, coupled with rumors that Apple may be releasing a smaller version (in addition to the original version) of the iPad, could set the stage for an even faster migration to tablets.
The smaller iPad rumors are heating up now that Apple has announced their sales and revenue numbers for their fiscal third quarter. Apple’s numbers were down, but iPad sales beat expectations. In addition to releasing a new generation of the iPhone, many observers think that Apple can expand the tablet market by introducing a smaller version. The smaller iPad is expected to downsize its overall profile, but not its functionality. A “large” tablet to accommodate more capacity doesn’t matter as much anymore, given improved battery life and the increasing adoption of cloud-based services.
The inevitability of companies like Apple and Amazon rolling out different sized devices is a sign that the tablet market is not even close to being saturated. If the Business Insider survey is in fact an indicator of future trends and we are heading towards a tablet dominated future, it’s natural that one size won’t fit all. A certain tablet may be more beneficial for those who use it for business and heavy typing, another one may be better designed for gamers, and one, like the current Kindle, could be made to cater to heavy readers. Some use tablets to create, others to consume, and many use them for both. So why wouldn’t tablets, like PCs before them, reflect this variety?