Tablet Report: The Next Frontier of Personal Computing

I’m about to make some updates to a tablet report I publish through my firm Creative Strategies. Usually, this type of report is reserved for our clients only, or to purchase a-la-carte for $499. I decided to give Tech.pinions Insiders a promo code to download and read it for free. The code expires at the end of the month, August 31st, so make sure to download it before then.

We have, of course, been observing some interesting trend shifts in the tablet market. This report still represents the basic foundation of my thinking for how the tablet will evolve, and the future role it will play, particularly in emerging markets as you will see. The updated report, which will we will offer a brief version for free, will highlight some of the usage trend changes we are observing, and include a more clear outlook of the tablet’s future.

To download the report go to:

Use the code at checkout: TPinsiders08

Below is an overview of topics covered, and screen shots of the entire .PDF.

Topics covered:
– Global Statistics of Internet Penetration
– Infographic “If the World was a Village” – global technology statistics
– From Click to Touch
– The State of the Tablet Market
– Growth in Emerging Markets
– Tablet Usage Trends
– The Touch Generation
– Food for Thought
– Key Takeaways


Published by

Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio

10 thoughts on “Tablet Report: The Next Frontier of Personal Computing”

  1. Man, really interesting read. Thanks for sharing. I have questions, but since I didn’t pay $499, there is no reason to answer them. Like, define “sharing”? My family will grab my iPad from time to time because it is usually more convenient than their PCs or phones/tablets. But it isn’t set up for them to use, such as with their email accounts, etc. Also, in that vein, it would be interesting to me to see the usage cases broken down by solo/owner vs shared tablets, do shared tablets have significantly different usage patterns vs single user tablets.

    In terms of killer apps, is the internet and communication not killer app enough? Do you really think there is a specific, or couple/few, app that will cause the tablet to break out more than it has? It looks like, if the tablet graph is sales, tablets have already matched if not slightly exceeded, PC sales. For a 4 year period (2010-2014), that’s pretty astounding without a killer app. Kind of says to me that the tablet is its own killer app, even if that tablet graph is cumulative sales and not yearly sales.


    1. I have bought every 9.7″ iPad as it has been introduced and I use it extensively. I also have a smartphone and a laptop. Of the three, the only one I could do without is the iPad. I love the iPad for surfing, watching video and reading but my smartphone and laptop can do that adequately. The fact that I can afford an iPad makes my life better but it is not a necessity.

      I can’t think of a killer app that would only be successful on a 10″ tablet. There are many niche markets that work very well on an iPad but most can be done a laptop as well. Since the iPad is cheaper than most laptops with the same capabilities it isn’t surprising that those niche applications are popular. Things like what Ben mentioned and Apple uses in their advertisements: art, music production and photography work very well on a 10″ tablet. The users of iPads for those endeavors are probably not willing to give them up and go back to a laptop since the software on the tablet actually works better than the equivalent on a smartphone or laptop. But those are relatively small niches. They probably can’t be considered killer applications.

      Overall the usefulness of tablets made them a bestseller but those markets are now full. Something else is needed to continue the growth. I wish I could think of what it will be.

      1. Interesting. As I continue to use all three, I am finding I can do without the smartphone more and more. Most anything of importance to me is better done with a larger screen and I am definitely not interested in a larger screen smartphone. I don’t particularly care for the 4″ screen of the iPhone 5. I know I am an anomaly, by current reasoning.

        I am less concerned about a killer app for the tablet as others. It’s killer app is its portable capacity. It has become to me what a laptop was back when desktops were the only way to go. And my laptop has become my desktop. I tote my laptop between home and work, But the first thing I do in each location is set it up on my desk connected to an external monitor and other peripherals via Thunderbolt dock. It is important to my mobile office, but it is too cumbersome as a mobile device when a large part of my work is done away from the desk.


        1. Agreed, but after having the 3.5″ screen since 2008, I’m quite pleased with the 5s. I barely use the laptop since the pad, the killer apps being portability, battery life and great screen. I reluctantly return to the laptop (17″ pro) for the reliable and fast mail search and organisation, spotlight and power suckers like photography apps.
          I can’t believe how weak and unreliable the mobile mail app remains, the rest are mostly adequate to good.
          Having never used a phablet, I have no idea whether a modest increase in screen size will counteract the overall inconvenience of a pocket slab, although it will probably work for the ladies and their handbags.

    2. By shared, I just mean that multiple persons use it. We have been hearing more and more that these devices are setup by a family and for a family purpose rather than just for one person and that one person simply let’s others use their tablet. Early signs of that point, but it is something I am watching.

      Clearly, though, you can see from that report, my conviction is that these do evolve into more powerful devices through software. This was a good read along the lines of my thinking on the matter.

      What that report hopefully pointed out is that areas where there are a “PC” bias, meaning high familiarity and assumptions of the device will be slower to transition. But areas in emerging markets where there is less to no PC bias, the tablet has a chance to evolve to be a more powerful device offering more than what the smartphone can do for many contexts.

      1. I see. Essentially one tablet per household, for all intents and purposes. Similar to how PCs were initially adopted by families, one per. I would expect tablets to change on pretty much similar grounds as the PC. At some point it becomes too cumbersome to share, multi-user capabilities notwithstanding.

        I don’t think it is any coincidence that the PC uptick corresponds to the dropping of XP support by MS. I also don’t think it is any coincidence that it has an effect on tablet sales. I don’t think people want to spend money on both at the same time, especially since there is very little reason to. But I do think there will be longer upgrade cycles in PCs because of the tablet.

        I like how you frame the PC bias affect. I agree. It will take a generation that is not bound by the PC way of things to come up with new paradigms that are opened up by a tablet, or at least non-PC way of thinking of things.

        That is some meaty stuff. I am surprised more haven’t commented. To be fair it has only been one day. Again, thanks for sharing.


        1. Thanks for the positive feedback. Our firm back in the 80’s and 90’s use to only do reports then our model was switched. While I don’t want to become report heavy, I do want to do more of these from time to time. So this was my first attempt, and I took a presentation I give and turned it to words on a page.

          Glad you enjoyed it. I do think there will be a gravitation back to larger tablets and that will be healthy for the market at large and start to creep toward my thesis on where this market goes.

  2. I’m still a proponent of the 2-in-1 (ie: Surface Pro 3) as the next frontier of personal, or more specifically, personal mobile computing. It really is a great device & the stylus really is a killer feature.

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