Shocker. So, it’s not just Apple that is having trouble pushing tablets in an era when smartphone phablets are almost as big and do more? Sam Mattera explains why.
Amazon was still the world’s fifth-largest tablet vendor in the fourth quarter, according to IDC, shipping 1.7 million tablets. That’s down significantly from the same period last year, when Amazon shipped 5.8 million tablets. To make matters worse, the next largest tablet vendor, Asus, shipped almost twice as many (3 million).
Poor Apple. They only shipped 21-million iPads last quarter.
Amazon’s early success with its Fire tablets appears to have been predicated almost entirely on the fact that it was first to market with a cheap device — when it unveiled the original Kindle Fire in 2011, there was no iPad Mini, and the few Android tablets that were out there were barely competitive. The competition has clearly caught up, and though Amazon has made vast improvements to its own devices, it obviously hasn’t had the desired effect.
Tablets have a place, but there isn’t much more a company can do to make them more compelling. They last for years. There’s not much there but a screen to apps or websites. And they can’t do the heavy lifting still required of notebooks and desktop PCs, even with a keyboard.