They Aren’t SmartphonesTablets mimic smartphones in several ways, but they fall short when compared to those mobile devices. Handsets have the same operating systems, more applications – and let you make phone calls. Smartphones have the luxury of lasting a long time, but tablets, who knows?
Mobile — to a PointTablets are designed to be travel companions, but exactly how mobile they really are is up for debate. Without the proper case, they can be damaged when dropped. And even though companies like Apple are slimming them down, they can’t be tossed into a pocket for easy access. The limits to tablet mobility could very well hurt them over the long-term.
Laptops Are Still IdealWhen it comes to getting work done, there’s no reason to suggest the consumers or enterprise users should use a tablet over a laptop. Additional keyboard accessories are nice to help users type, but considering tablet software is underpowered and lack the programs found on traditional laptops, it’s hard to see how they would fare in the enterprise over the long haul.
Do Customers Need A New One Each Year?Right now, consumers are buying new tablets each year. But as major jumps in functionality start to slow, will consumers realize that they’re happy with the tablet they already have? Apple certainly hopes that won’t happen, but considering how expensive slates can be, it might be only a matter of time.
What About Ultrabooks?Notebook makers aren’t sitting back and allowing tablets to steal their market share. In fact, Intel has created a category of computers – called Ultrabooks – that offer an ultra-slim design that combines the power of laptops with the tablet-like features consumers want. When those devices launch later this year, they could stymie tablet sales.
Could Chromebooks Cannibalize Sales?Chromebooks are not market leaders right now, but over the long-term, as Chrome OS becomes more popular, how might consumers respond to those products? After all, they’re lightweight, extremely mobile, and come with a unique operating system. If they catch on, they could seriously hurt tablet sales.
It Has Happened BeforeThe mobile-computing space is by no means a stranger to fads. First there were netbooks, now tablets are taking over. If netbooks, which seemingly had a bright future, can die, what makes anyone think that tablets are here to stay?
The Economy Could Hurt ThemIf the economy is going well, tablets will likely continue to succeed without much trouble. But if the economy continues to decline and takes a while to recover, consumers and enterprise users might balk at buying new slates for the sake of having them. There’s a gold rush for tablets right now, but that could soon come to an end.
Few Devices SucceedNot everyone can be on top, and one can make the argument that only Apple’s iPad is a success in the tablet market so far. If that continues, it might not be long before other vendors abandon the tablet and the market contracts, causing all kinds of trouble for the space.
Early Success Isn’t PredictiveWhen it’s all said and done, there’s no way to know for sure what will happen with tablets. But if anything is certain, it’s that early success does not necessarily mean that devices will be popular over the long-term. At this point, anything can happen.