John Dvorak has a kind of interesting gripe about the future of tablets:
With sales of tablets falling, the so-called “experts” are now re-evaluating predictions about tablets taking over the computing market. It never made sense in the first place.
All eyes are on the market share leader, Apple, whose iPad sales fell 16 percent during the first quarter. Some of this has to do with customers moving to Android tablets, but a downward trend is clear. The Microsoft Surface also took a beating.
The rationale is that, whatever a tablet is good for, it’s never going to be replaced. Once the market saturates, the replacement cycle is long and slow. Unlike on PCs, there are no tablet apps that are so powerful they need more horsepower. Most users simply use them to read content or play games.
Insofar as a fashion item, there is not much you can do design-wise to a tablet to encourage an upgrade. There are no real design elements. It’s just a slab of glass.
My own view is that tablets, like mainframe computers and notebook computers, are a niche product. There’s a viable niche for them and will be for the foreseeable future. So far I don’t we’ve scratched the surface (to use a wildly inappropriate metaphor) of the potential for smartphones or tablets in the business environment. Interestingly, smartphones and tablets are unlike mainframes and personal computers whether desktop or notebook in that they’re primarily a consumer product rather than spreading from business use into personal use.
I’ve been thinking of starting an online magazine devoted to add-ons for smartphones and tablets for a while now. There doesn’t seem to be anything like that out there or, if there is, it’s certainly keeping its existence hidden pretty well. There’s plenty of material and I would think with and with 150 million smartphones and 100 million tablets out there, you’d think that there might be at least a little interest.