Is It Time to Sell My iPad?

TV is taking back what the tablet stole

Last month, Global Web Index reported that tablets are in decline as a second-screen device and sales of iPads have fallen to a level not seen since 2011, when the iPad was just a year old— quite the headlines given that not so long ago we were led to believe iPads would kill off PCs, be the future of computing, steal our wives and run for President. It wasn’t supposed to like this!

There are some simple reasons why sales could be on the slide:

  1. People don’t upgrade their tablets like they upgrade their smartphones — an old tablet is much more useful than an old smartphone for most people.
  2. iPads can be shared — a family of 4 may have 4 or more smartphones but only 1 tablet.
  3. People are using their tablet as their first screen device.

This got me considering my own device usage — I realised that I actually own an iPad, that I’ve owned for 5 years, that cost me £400, that I’ve not used in at least 6 months. And it’s easy to see why:

  1. iPhones are bigger, better, stronger, faster — Is a 7- or 8-inch tablet really so much more useful than a 5- or 6-inch phone? I use my iPhone 6S at home for messaging, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Music, podcasts, saving articles to Pocket, banking, and most importantly: managing my Fantasy Football team. I’ve even started using it to watch documentaries in bed as its easier to balance on a mound of duvet and pillows than an iPad — those tablet stands are utter garbage aren’t they.
  2. Notebooks are thinner, lighter, more beautiful — I use my 12" Macbook at home for more serious adult tasks like paying my Council Tax, reading articles I’ve saved to Pocket, browsing cameras I can’t afford on Ebay and looking at pictures of minimal desks on Tumblr. It’s only 0.7lbs heavier than my iPad and I can write this post with it resting nicely on my lap — those tablet stands are utter garbage aren’t they.
  3. The TV is back — not only is the BBC continually churning out truly brilliant shows like The Night Manager, my PS4 and humble YouView box can cover off the 3 things I can’t watch on terrestrial TV: Football, movies that aren’t old James Bond movies and Netflix & Chill. There’s also smart tellys and media streaming devices like Google Chromecast, Apple TV and Plex to name but a few.
Tom Hiddleston in The Night Manager ‘cos he’s a badass.

When I first unboxed my iPad, played Angry Birds for 15 mins then put it back in it’s cover, I always just assumed like many other Apple inventions it was simply way ahead of it’s time. I assumed it was waiting to find it’s purpose in The World once developers or the ‘Internet of Everything’ caught up with it. That moment seems to have briefly been and gone.

iPad…meet O2 Recycle.

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