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Tablet sales are still falling, but not as much as they were

STILL USING a tablet? It’s not that weird if you are, a lot of people are. But are you still using the same Nexus 7 you bought the last time they came out?

Chances are, you probably are because although the decline is slowing, tablet sales are still dropping.

Though the latest figures from IDC show a definite slowdown in the slowdown This year, the fall was 3.4 per cent year on year – last quarter it was 8.5 per cent, there’s still a big problem. Tablets have just… stopped.

Think about it. What new features have tablets got over, say two years ago? The Nvidia Shield tablet is getting longer in the tooth now but it has most of the same features as anything recently released. So people aren’t buying.

The biggest tablet makers are Apple (of course), Samsung, Huawei, Amazon and Lenovo. Apple, who claim to have invented tablets, which of course they didn’t, now have an even bigger market share than ever – over a quarter – 30.1 per cent in fact.

That’s double the next biggest rival, Samsung, on 15.8 per cent.

Of course, tablet means tablet. And what many people are going onto is “2-in-1”, “detachable” or “convertible” laptops which are essentially a tablet with a keyboard. They generally have one of those vile kickstand things because f*ck hinges, apparently, but because of that, they’re not included in these stats.

So yes, we’re going back to keyboards. A bit. But we’re not really. We’re going to a hybrid, and whether you buy a tablet with a keyboard attachment or a 2-in-1 laptop is fairly semantic, and yet the latter doesn’t show in IDC figures.

What we do know though is that Google is still unhappy in the realm of the tablet, and the desktop for that matter. The Android O development team recently admitted that they had nothing concrete sorted to make Android better for other form factors. Meanwhile, Apple is making a fairly good job of rebranding iOS as a good alternative to a desktop.

So in order to reverse this decline which IDC sees continuing through 2017, someone would need to come up with a tablet so magnificent as to kick start the whole thing again. µ

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