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Tablets and Hybrid Products - US - November 2016

"The once high-flying tablet market has taken a tumble. Sales growth, which stood at 52% in 2012, fell to less than 10% in 2013 and 2014, and then the market contracted in 2015 and 2016. This Report provides guidance for marketers facing significant headwinds as consumers shift to larger and newer mobile phones, and as latent demand to upgrade laptops emerges as a competing factor for tablet sales."

- Billy Hulkower, Senior Technology Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Stagnating adoption
  • Three quarters of owners acquired tablet in 2014-16
  • Apple, Samsung gain share
  • Tablets hemmed in by phablets, laptops

Qualitative and quantitative work conducted for this Report include current ownership, interest in owning multiple tablets, intent to purchase, how tablets are used, as well as how consumer tastes in tablets are shifting. Substantial weight in both qualitative and quantitative studies is given to consumer interest in the relatively new sector of hybrid laptop/tablets, as well as to how larger screen tablets emerging as an arena for growth.

For the purposes of this Report, tablets are defined as portable computers with a touchscreen user interface but which lack a direct calling feature through a cellular provider. Hybrid products consist of tablets that include a foldaway or are marketed on the basis of being most useful via the inclusion or separate purchase of a detachable keyboard. The focus of the Report is on ownership and purchasing behavior among adults, inclusive of purchases made by adults on behalf of children.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Stagnating adoption
            • Figure 1: US tablet sales, at current prices, 2011-16
          • Three quarters of owners acquired tablet in 2014-16
            • Figure 2: Year of tablet acquisition, July 2016
          • Apple, Samsung gain share
            • Figure 3: Brand ownership, November 2013-April 2014 vs October 2015-June 2016
          • Tablets hemmed in by phablets, laptops
            • Figure 4: Interest in new tablet vs new phone or new laptop, July 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Bigger better, convertibles best
              • Figure 5: Reason for purchasing a new tablet, July 2016
              • Figure 6: Tablets as productivity tools and preference for keyboards, July 2016
            • The gift market
              • Figure 7: Receipt of tablet as a gift, by gender and age, July 2016
            • Pester power
              • Figure 8: Purchase of tablet for children to use, by age of children in household, July 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Market falls below 2012 sales
                • Gifting central to low-end
                  • Smartphones/laptops provide competitive environment
                  • Market Size

                    • Media consumption unlikely to reverse declining sales
                      • In their own words:
                        • Focusing on the interface
                          • Figure 9: US tablet sales, at current prices, 2011-16
                      • Market Factors

                            • Figure 10: Current and desired uses for tablets, July 2016
                          • Gift purchasing
                            • One in eight owners received tablet as gift
                              • In their own words
                                  • Figure 11: Receipt of tablet as a gift, by gender and age, July 2016
                                • One in five parents bought tablet for child
                                  • Figure 12: Purchase of tablets for children to use, by selected demographics, July 2016
                              • Market Perspective

                                • Tablets sandwiched between phone and laptop
                                  • In their own words:
                                    • Preferences cross age groups
                                      • Figure 13: Preference for laptops and phones above tablets, by age July 2016
                                    • Phone sales triumph over tablets
                                      • Figure 14: Unit sales of tablets, smartphones, and laptops, 2011-16
                                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                    • iPad, Galaxy, Fire carry 80% of ownership
                                      • Surface to emerge from second-tier brands
                                        • Tide turning toward higher-price products
                                        • What’s Working?

                                          • Half of owners have an iPad
                                            • In their own words:
                                              • Samsung rising
                                                • Falling fire
                                                  • In their own words:
                                                      • Figure 15: Brand ownership, November 2013-April 2014 vs October 2015 - June 2016
                                                  • What’s Struggling?

                                                    • Diverse range of Android tablets fight for share
                                                      • Figure 16: Brand ownership, November 2013-April 2014 vs October 2015 - June 2016
                                                  • What’s Next?

                                                    • Pro sizes
                                                      • Hybrids spark repurchase interest
                                                        • Tablets productive, but majority prefer keyboard/mouse UI
                                                          • Figure 17: Tablets as productivity tools and preference for keyboards, July 2016
                                                        • Panelists prefer tablets with detachable keyboards
                                                          • In their own words:
                                                            • Market for high-end broadening
                                                              • Figure 18: Amount spent on most recent tablet, by year of acquisition, July 2016
                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                            • Upgrades more critical than first-time purchases
                                                              • Little effort in selection process
                                                                • Improved speed leading reason to upgrade
                                                                  • Price points a problem
                                                                  • Ownership and Intent to Purchase

                                                                    • Adoption no longer engine of growth
                                                                      • Figure 19: Tablet ownership, April 2013 - July 2016
                                                                    • Groups most likely to own most likely to buy
                                                                      • Figure 20: Tablet ownership and intent to purchase, by Hispanic origin, July 2016
                                                                      • Figure 21: Tablet ownership and intent to purchase, by gender and age, July 2016
                                                                      • Figure 22: Tablet ownership and intent to purchase, by parental status, July 2016
                                                                    • Dads top target
                                                                        • Figure 23: Intent to purchase, – CHAID – Tree output, July 2016
                                                                    • Price Paid

                                                                      • High-end historically niche arena
                                                                        • Figure 24: Amount spent on most recent tablet, July 2016
                                                                      • Hispanics spend more
                                                                        • Figure 25: Amount spent on most recent tablet, by household income, July 2016
                                                                        • Figure 26: Amount spent on most recent tablet, by race and Hispanic origin, July 2016
                                                                        • Figure 27: Amount spent on most recent tablet, by gender and age, July 2016
                                                                    • Selection Process

                                                                      • Limited research the norm
                                                                        • Figure 28: Factors in tablet selection, July 2016
                                                                      • High-end buyers note ads, visit stores
                                                                        • Figure 29: Factors in tablet selection, by amount spent on tablet, July 2016
                                                                      • Young men more open to persuasion
                                                                        • Figure 30: Factors in tablet selection, by gender and age, July 2016
                                                                    • Reasons to Upgrade

                                                                      • Speed, battery life, and storage top of mind
                                                                        • Figure 31: Reason for purchasing a new tablet, July 2016
                                                                      • Interest in hybrids, screen size shared across demographics
                                                                        • Figure 32: Reason for purchasing a new tablet, by selected demographics, July 2016
                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                        • Sales data
                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                              • CHAID analysis
                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                    • Terms
                                                                                    • Appendix – Market

                                                                                        • Figure 33: US sales of tablets, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                                                        • Figure 34: Number of US households, by presence of children, 2005-15
                                                                                    • Appendix – Consumer

                                                                                        • Figure 35: Tablets as productivity tools vs toys, by year of acquisition, July 2016
                                                                                        • Figure 36: Intent to purchase a tablet or hybrid product – CHAID output, July 2016
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Factors in tablet selection, by household income, July 2016
                                                                                        • Figure 38: Current uses for tablets, by age, July 2016
                                                                                        • Figure 39: Current uses for tablets, by gender, July 2016
                                                                                        • Figure 40: Current uses for tablets, by hispanic origin, July 2016
                                                                                        • Figure 41: Current uses for tablets, by household income, July 2016

                                                                                    Companies Covered

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                                                                                    Tablets and Hybrid Products - US - November 2016

                                                                                    US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)