TKI – Tokyo International: The inexorable march of the tablet and its encroachment on sales of laptops and desktops could be slowing down according to research published by NPD DisplaySearch, a market research company focusing on the supply chain for display screens. For the first time, year-on-year tablet shipments have dropped as more consumers plump for big-screen phones (commonly referred to as “phablets”) with screens typically measuring 5.5 inches or more.
“Younger buyers are more comfortable with the smaller screen sizes than older consumers but there’s also the suspicion that the law of diminishing returns is at work here as far as the technology is concerned,” commented a TKI Tokyo International analyst.
“The advances – if any – being made, year to year, just don’t entice consumers into upgrading their iPad or Galaxy Note every time a new model is released. The technology has gone as far as it can and shaving a millimeter off the thickness or an extra couple of gigabytes of memory isn’t going to shift more units,” he continued.
The phablet has been growing in popularity despite assertions that many buyers will be put off by what appears, initially, to be portability issues.
Companies like Samsung and Google and, reportedly, Apple, have begun looking more closely at wearable technology as they seek to maintain revenue streams but TKI Tokyo International says the devices may not be as well received.
“Samsung’s ‘Gear’ and Google’s recently-introduced Android-powered smartwatch, dubbed ‘Wear’, are seen as having little value as standalone devices since the majority of their functionality – beyond telling the time – is dependent upon being tethered to a smartphone,” concluded the “TKI Tokyo International” analyst.
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