In the last quarter the shipments if iPad cratered. Microsoft lost a billion dollars so far ordering Surface tablets that nobody seems to want and about everyone that needed a cool Netflix interface either already has one or has options from the double digit Android tablets to high convertibles.
But do you really need one?
The business argument for this one is actually fairly straight forward, tablets tend to be seen as consumer devices and the “need” for the tablet is kind of limited. At least that is what I have heard from my peers. When you need to actually do a lot of work you will get it done on a PC with multiple monitors, when you need something done on the road you have a laptop and everyone is already carrying a smartphone that can do a lot of quick stuff on the go.
With the full Windows 8 laptop prices dropping below the cost of tablets and the battery power coming closer and closer.. It is harder to make the case for tablets.
Our industry has always had a part time workers in technical sense. Those that never needed two screens, or DVD burners or card readers.
There is a very large industry of terminal PC devices and accessories. For those, full PC is just not necessary, no matter how cheap. The maintenance costs of a PC are still significantly more expensive than those of the tablet.
Finally, your line of business apps are being built for touch and go, not for sit and double screen. This piece alone, I think, continues to drive the development and adoption of tablets and retirement of laptops as we go along.
The convertibles… I have no idea. The part I cannot overcome is the size – 10″ laptops suck and tablets larger than 10″ are too bulky and annoying. Keeping them in a single device, in an awkward implementation, that gets the best and worst of both along with the top price will likely just leaves it as an edge solution that will not get a lot of traction.
Just my tale on the subject but it will ultimately be decided by Apple and whatever hackjob Microsoft halfasses as a response to it.