Cheaper and funky tablets rule the roost

In the two years since Apple launched its iPad, tablet sales have continued to rocket

September 7, 2012

In the two years since Apple launched its iPad, tablet sales have continued to rocket – helping to turn Apple into the most valuable company in the world – with overall tablet sales set to reach 406 million by 2016.

According to Christopher Riley, CEO of laptop and accessories retailer, The Notebook Company – which manages the Laptop.co.za and Notebook.co.za online retail sites – the new Apple iPad will “continue to lead the pack” in terms of global sales.

He said iPad sales accounting for more than 40% of his company’s revenue for the year so far. Commenting on the global tablet market, Riley said that when one includes Android and other tablets – as well as e-readers – 100 million tablets were sold in 2011. “I don’t believe that tablets and smart phones will completely replace PCs. But they will certainly overtake them in terms of unit sales. This is literally inevitable.”

“What is interesting to note, however, is that tablet prices – like most electronic products – are continuing to fall in price.
“Looking at the first six months of the year tablet prices have come down markedly. The ASP of the iPad is down more than 11% from its 2011 price, although we are continuing to battle to get stock in South Africa – so end users are still paying a premium compared to global pricing.”

Riley said that while tablets are becoming more and more popular, they remain poor substitutes for laptops and PCs if users are trying to run intensive spreadsheets. “One of their advantages, however,” said Riley, “is that they do improve on the media consumption experience.

“Tablet users are prone to consume a huge amount of content, from news to movies to TV shows. Because they are smaller, more portable and more funky, their popularity is going to be hard to match.”