America, China go ape for tablets
Impecunious Europeans less so, says researcher
Count tablets as personal computers and already fondleslabs account for almost a fifth of the world PC market.
North Americans have embraced tablet technology to their collective bosom, notes market watcher Canalys. In the US and Canada, tablets accounted for 36 per cent of PC shipments during the first three months of 2012.
They took almost half of all the 20.3m tablets that shipped worldwide. Global tablet shipments rose more than 200 per cent year on year.
Over here, however, we're less impressed - or simply less well off. We only took 4.7m - and that figure includes the Middle East and Africa. Some 5m tablets shipped into Asia-Pacific region, China especially.
Europe has more than double the population of the US, yet tablet ownership in Europe is half that of the folks over the pond, says Canalys.
The reasons? A relative paucity of content services, reckons the market watcher, but we'd suggest the state of many a European economy probably matters more. Anecdotally, content and apps are points punters tend to consider after they've bought a tablet, not before.
"Contrast this to booming economies in the Asia Pacific region and the rapid rise in middle income households, particularly in China," said Tim Coulling, a Canalys Analyst. "These present vendors with the greatest opportunities for growth."
No wonder Apple is so keen to put down ProView.
China is now the second largest market for tablets, the researcher said, with shipments in Q1 six times what they were a year earlier. Growth in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole hit 232 per cent. Shipments into EMEA grew 180 per cent. ®
I still don't know
Exactly what it is that tablets are good for. I've had to use a few at work, because we support them, but they're just a bad compromise between phones and laptops as far as I can tell.
I personally find them uncomfortable to use, badly limited and generally just an annoyance.
I actually really want to want them. They're shiny and cool, but... when I have one in my hands, all I want to do is get back to my keyboard and mouse.
I assume I'm holding them all wrong because it either hurts my neck or my shoulders to use them. I also can't work out what I could do on one.
This is an honest question, because I would LOVE to have a reason to pick up that 13" Toshiba tablet, which looks all types of awesome. What is a tablet good for and how do you use it so it doesn't hurt?
That wandered off the point somewhat, but that's essentially why I've not got a tablet yet.
More like we've all been burned before...
I don't even get excited over the "next big thing" anymore, because I know it'll depend on a service which doesn't exist outside of the US, or is in copyright limbo outside of the US, or which the pan-European language -splosion makes uneconomical to develop.
Whatever the next big thing is, I already know we're not getting a copy.
Re: "I still don't know" - I know
And again Euros whine how much better net books are. Everyone doesn't agree or the net book market wouldn't be collapsing while the tablet market is exploding or I guess you think everyone else are idiots. Still I take your point on the currency conversion scam.
Re: it's a toy silly
Not putting Flash into iOS on an iPad is an Apple commercial decision, that they may come to regret. It makes it an Apple toy, with limited uses. The same does not apply to an Android tablet.
Flash works on Android devices (at required specifications) and is the core of BBC IPTV, and Flash along with many other things work without problem on a netbook.
"Re: I still don't know" - I know
I take it that "asdf" is US based, ignorant about prices in Europe, and UK IPTV.
The main initial reason that tablet sales are lower in the UK, compared to the USA, is because of the rip-off prices that the big brand names charge - currently of the order of 60% more than the US price. There is no justification. The tablets are manufactured in the Far East, and key components such as the ARM CPU and MALI GPU are actually UK IP.
Subsidiary to that, there are good reasons to have waited for Android-4 to be released, that would make the multi-core Android tablets significantly better. A $100 tablet with Android-4 and an ARM Cortex A8 1.2GHz CPU, plus dual-MALI GPU, overall performs better than all iPads except the latest one, and is also a match for the Samsung and Motorola Tegra-2 tablets.
Sold under various names, these are not over-priced by all retailers. For example, the Kindle Fire is even a very poor buy for the US customer, compared to the $100 tablet above.
I get instant-on, no fan blowing, on my netbook - it's a Dell 910 with SSD. It does everything an iOS or Android tablet can do, and very much more as well, except I use a mouse with my arm resting on the arm of the chair instead of having to move over the touch screen. No strain at all. Where others complain about using a larger tablet by saying there is strain over long use.
What makes a netbook better than a tablet for the UK user is the fact that it has its own keyboard and stands without additional equipment or holding. So it can sit on the arm of my chair without having to hold it., often using it as if a portable TV, that can easily moved around the house.
In the UK the BBC iPlayer is excellent for on demand TV, archived and live streams. Other IPTV is available, not quite as good as the BBC.
Almost all netbooks probably use intelligent Li-ION battery management, exactly the same as tablets. So the following is a fatuous generalisation: "You can set the thing down for days instead of hours and not worry about the battery being dead unlike most netbooks." When a Li-ION battery goes dead it usually cannot be recharged, the battery management system prevents it, and it doesn't matter if it is in a tablet or netbook.
Uses for a tablet - they seem to be useful for media presenters - quick access to lots of notes.
Younger kids love them of course, as a new kind of games device for TempeRun etc ,probably until they grow bored.
Teenagers prefer their laptops, proper keyboards for the IM/social networks, games music and school course work that you simply cannot directly do on a tablet.
The only tablet usage reason I can identify is as a third-screen device - left on monitoring Twitter when I'm using a netbook/laptop/desktop. I don't Tweet, but follow many people who use Twitter to send URLs to articles and video of interest. I used to do this with an additional screen set-up on the netbook - not entirely satisfactory given the crippling of netbook specifications to satisfy Microsoft.