Australians Continue To Buy Fewer Tablets Each Year

Australians Continue To Buy Fewer Tablets Each Year
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We love using tablets, but it seems we don’t want to upgrade them very often. According to analyst firm Telsyste, sales of tablets in Australia dropped 20 per cent in the second half of 2014 compared to the year before.

Picture: Getty Images/Joe Raedle

A similar trend was evident in Telsyte’s tracking last year, and Apple’s tablet sales are also off the boil. Apple remains dominant in the local market, with 50 per cent of all sales. However, Telsyte’s research suggests that more than half of all tablet purchases ever made in Australia were during 2013, and that we’re not rushing to upgrade. The popularity of larger-screen phones has also been a factor.

None of this means that we don’t like tablets, or that they’re a terrible business for Apple and others to be in: it just means sales aren’t growing at the same rate they once did. For developers, that also means you shouldn’t build apps optimised for very new tablet designs — chances are many of your potential buyers are using older technology.


  • Makes sense really. the tablet market is really only about five years old, so it would take a while before most of the target audience has jumped on the tablet train. I’m sure a similar thing happened with affordable computers back in the day.

  • The ones they’re trying to sell us are too pricey, I’m thinking of getting a cube 9x, its got a 9.7 retina screen in a slim form factor and its about $250, it’s chinese but i just want it to read stuff on

  • I don’t use my tablet as much as my phone and don’t see it needing to be upgrade anywhere near as often.

    • ^^^ This.
      I had an iPad with retina and didn’t think I would have a need to upgrade, until the air came out.
      Since the iPad air, I don’t see myself upgrading any time soon. It’s not like a phone, and it’s perfectly useful as is. I’m sure by IOSX or something I’ll change my tune, but for now, I think the biggest problem with tablet sales is that people aren’t in a hurry to upgrade to the next iteration.

      • The only reason I bought another tablet was because I lost my little Nexus 7 during a crazy moment while overseas. :'(

  • I think tablets are really a bit of a novelty – used for browsing the internet on the couch, and little else, and therefore no need to upgrade.

    With phones becoming bigger, and laptops becoming lighter and touch friendly, tablets serve a very small market that is easily satisfied by a phone or a laptop, especially a 2-in-1.

    They’re too much of a niche product that doesn’t offer enough of anything to warrant upgrading to the latest and greatest.

    I presume iPads still hold their own, as Apple don’t offer a 2-in-1, which would be foolish, as it would almost certainly kill the iPad (just as the iPhone 6 Plus is probably killing the Mini).

    If you could get a device like the Mac Air which converted into a tablet, you wouldn’t have a need for an iPad at all, and I would start buying Apple tomorrow!

    • There are plenty of tablet form factor convertible laptops, and have been for years. What specifically about the Mac Air are you requiring in them?

        • In terms of non-novelty tablet-specific uses, I would say it’s very useful to have always/instant on devices used for
          * media management
          * e-book reader, notably for comic books and other large format content like music
          * student use – particularly in wet labs where keyboards can be a problem

          Also for those with older eyes or generally imperfect eyesight, a larger screen for phone apps is a must. I generally find that my friends and family over age 60 prefer the combination of a non-smart phone and tablet, to any kind of smart phone.

  • having owned a couple ipads and an android tablet (all 3 of which have spent the vast majority of their lifespans gathering dust in drawers) I can absolutely understand why this is happening.

    Our phones are becoming larger and more useful, and there’s less and less incentive to lug around a second device that does exactly the same thing, only with a bit more screen real estate.

  • It makes sense really, you carry your phone everywhere & use it through the day so they wear out in 18 months or so but tablets lead cushier lives so live longer.
    Phones & tablets like desk/laptops have reached the point where they’re not advancing so much that you need to update until they’re stuffed or a couple of generations old

    • That is true,

      I have only just retired my Toshiba AT100 after pretty much 4 years of good use for a Galaxy Tab 4. Even still, due to its rarity of having a full-sized HDMI port, the AT100 is now a media device that we keep near the tv for Netflix. Before that it was great for e-books, games and late night curiosity reading wikipedia.

      Tablets if taken care of correctly last a significant amount of time due to its internals (no optical disks) and well controlled environments (Android and iOS). I am not surprised by this at all.

      I expect my Galaxy Tab to last quite a while before I need to replace it.

      • you forgot software decay. Over a few years, devices can no longer run newer os/games.
        My iPod touch lasted 3 years before it was almost unuseable. No upgrades, no new apps. It’s not even heavy enough to be a boat anchor. I get much better mileage from laptops – my oldest is 14 years old and it still. Runs most stuff today (excluding 3d games of course).

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