Tablet Strategy: Analyst says iPad growth has stalled, apps the key for competitors

by Carol Pinchefsky

May 7 2014

"Most consumer purchase intent is iPad-driven, not tablet driven," says analyst Avi Greengart. (Photo credit: David Needle)
"Most consumer purchase intent is iPad-driven, not tablet driven," says analyst Avi Greengart. (Photo credit: David Needle)

Apple’s iPad is by far the leading tablet and with over 500,000 iPad specific apps in its iTunes app store, the platform with the most apps. 

NEW YORK - But according to Avi Greengart, Research Director for Consumer Platforms and Devices at Current Analysis recent iPad sales have plateaued or stalled.

And as more tablet-specific apps are developed for Android and Windows 8 these would be iPad competitors have a shot to provide serious competition to the iPad and boost overall tablet sales.

Developers need to keep an eye on tablet-specific apps—as well as the ability for users "to determine how to find that app" (something, Greengart said that Google is "doing a better job than they have in the past").

"You can't really tabletize an old app that's designed for mouse and keyboard," Greengart warned in his opening address at TabTimes' Tablet Strategy conference here. "You're trying to automate a process with the wrong form factor."

Greengart suggests that new processes are why sales of tablets have temporarily leveled off. Development of these processes is time consuming, as is the way enterprise engages employees with these new practices.

(Asked later to clarify his remarks, Greengart told TabTimes: "If you're going to create new apps, possibly get new hardware add-ons for some of these consumer tablet devices, it isn't just a matter of the time that it takes to create the app and the time it takes to cobble together a solution with the right hardware. It also requires you to do something differently, to change your processes, and changing is probably the most time-consuming element. As companies learn how to figure out how to change their processes to take full advantage of the tablets capabilities, that can be a reason why growth has paused.")

He also said that inexpensive tablets, some as low as $39, will "open up the potential for new use cases."

Getting back to the iPad he said that even though sales of the popular tablet have leveled, it's clear that the iPad is not in any real danger. Greengart said the iPad "has a fairly good pricing model, at least for a premium product. If you ask a consumer, 'Are you looking to buy a tablet?' Most are looking to buy an iPad. The purchase intent is iPad driven, not category driven."

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