In the mobile world, there’s a lot of speculation that flies around on a daily basis. There are theories, leaks, and rumors everywhere you step, and everything’s hit or miss. There’s are just a few things, however, that are concrete and undeniable. One of those is the fact that nobody really cares about the tablet anymore. The spot in between phones and computers that tablets were comfortably nestled in is shrinking. This is due mostly to: phablets becoming the norm, companies not updating their tablets’ hardware, and the fact that people are seeing through the delusion that a tablet is a worthy replacement for an actual computer. While the tech world is no stranger to products that die out and go extinct, watching the tablet race fizz out would definitely warrant some tears. What could save the tablet market? Though far fetched, there could possibly be a way to bring the tablet back into the minds of consumers. A few things would have to happen though.
The first thing that would have to happen would be a change in the processing power behind the tablets. The only company that’s keeping up with their tablets from a horse power stand point is Apple. Sure, they keep the core anatomy of the iPad roughly the same, but the power behind them is ever evolving. The same can’t be said for the majority of Android OEM’s. Many of them put the latest and greatest SoC’s in their phones/phablets, but leave their tablets running on lower powered chips. In order to reestablish their place in the market, tablets will have to show that they can give us power that phones can’t, and for that to happen, OEM’s or chip manufacturers may have to get in bed with some other companies. The mobile SoC’s of modern times have done extremely well, but at heart, they are made for mobile; they’re designed to offer the optimum power at the least amount of space used. But if chip manufacturers could team up with companies that deal with chips used for more powerful devices, such as computers, we could see a whole new level of power. Whoever designs the chip could utilize some of the techniques or architecture employed from the partner company in order to boost the power of their SoC. The downside to this will be that the processors will take up more space, but the “Thin is In” philosophy will have to go in order to deliver more power. Boosting the power is just the first step, the second step is boosting the brains behind the added brawn.
Tablets are made for play, but they are made for productivity also. Unfortunately, anyone looking to do anything professional on a tablet (besides writing) will find themselves disappointed. They’ll find themselves asking, “Where are those apps that I’m seeing on the commercials?” We have the guys designing snowboards with a graphic design app on a Galaxy Note commercial, and the engineer designing aircraft parts on an iPad commercial. Of course advertisement is advertisement, but technology is getting to the point where that’s possible. How does this help tablets? Well, boosting the power of tablets will put it over phones/phablets, and having more capable software will put it over most computers (that’s dependent on the user of course). There’s a market of people who would rather buy a capable tablet than a full fledged laptop, and offering more fleshed out and professional software will widen that market. It’ll be up to software designers to present us with software that utilizes the more powerful tablets to their potential. And by that, I mean Adobe, Microsoft, Avid, ext. companies who show us that they can make a stellar computer program. They can definitely make more professional grade mobile software. This will be great for the composer, film editor, graphic designer and so on, who want to get their work done without having to set up and sit down for a computer.
Lastly, companies need to get the tablet back into the consumers’ minds. The only exposure that tablets get in advertising nowadays is “Buy this phone and get a tablet for free” and the free tablet you get isn’t even half way decent. Sure, getting an 8 inch slab for free is interesting, but it does nothing to showcase the tablet’s worth. The average consumer needs to know that if they go out right now and buy a tablet, that they are getting a truly remarkable device; and that’s what tablets are. The companies need to put in the passion into advertising their tablets that they do with their phones. They can’t survive on Samsung’s method: quietly releasing tablet after tablet. If an OEM puts in the time and effort to bring a new device line into existence, then they are going to want people to know about it. This would let people know that tablets do exist.
As we watch the tablet market slip more and more through our fingers, all we can do is hope that the next big tablet comes along and sparks a movement of sorts. Compelling phablets such as the Nexus 6P, the iPhone 6S Plus and largest threat of all, the Galaxy Note line, make it gratuitously difficult for tablets to get a word in edge wise. But if there’s a fighting chance for tablets to make a comeback, then it should be taken. The tablet has been a core part of the mobile world, being the bridge between phone and computer, branching off to give birth to the two-in-one and being the reason we even have the phablet. Whether or not the tablet will have a second wind is pure speculation, but so are most things in life, and like most things in life, we just have to wait for it to happen.