The tablet market is on fire again.
According to the data report released by the data agency IDC , global tablet PC shipments in the Q1 quarter of 2021 are still growing steadily, reaching 39.9 million units, a year-on-year increase of 55.2%. Going back to specific products, Apple has just released a new iPad Pro, and brands such as Xiaomi and Huawei have also reported that they will launch new tablets.
Compared with the iPad, the Android tablet market, which has been silent for many years, is growing again. It is not entirely dependent on the productivity applications promoted by many Android tablet manufacturers. Educational applications are the core reason for market growth, and its application areas are also diversified.
"Productivity before buying, iQiyi after buying" has become an unavoidable stalk when discussing tablet computers. When Apple makes major changes to the iPad series of software, systems, and hardware to adapt to more productivity scenarios, people's concerns about this category Doubts are also increasing.
Although the high-end Android tablet is also exploring the field of productivity, the lack of ecology makes it look even more interesting than the iPad. More people still regard it as a large-screen entertainment device that hangs around between sofas, stools, and beds.
Many mazufacturers are also exploring the depth of the tablet category in the entertainment scene. When Lenovo previously promoted its own tablet YOGA on Weibo, it said that it supports the HDMI interface, which can be used as a portable display to extend the screen of game consoles and notebooks. , Demonstrating the product from the Weibo picture is still a 2-in-1 Switch.
There are many netizens who support this feature in the comment area and forwarding.
In order to make the best use of this large screen, and to show the difference between a tablet and a mobile phone, and to form a unique selling point, manufacturers have spared no effort.
In addition to the secondary screen as the game interface mentioned above, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ also supports the Dex mode similar to the PC desktop. With the keyboard and touch pad, the multi-window operation is more efficient. In addition, it also supports the projection of the Windows computer interface to the On the tablet, use it as the second screen.
In video content creation, when shooting some scenes, the tablet computer is often used as an auxiliary monitor to monitor the captured images.
To say that the productivity of the Android tablet may still be close, but as a portable aid, it is still qualified.
At the same time, in order to increase content services, manufacturers are constantly moving the functions of mobile phones to tablets, such as MIUI+ for projection screens, multi-screen collaboration, and parallel vision for split screens, all in order to make better use of large screens.
You can also see some users using tablets as the control center of smart homes or ordering systems in restaurants.
However, the core reason for the continued growth of the Android tablet market is not the increase in productivity or the increase in application scenarios, but the attributes of the tablet itself suitable for the education market.
During the epidemic, home learning has become a daily routine, and the Internet is an important way for students to attend classes. However, the epidemic is still severe in many countries and regions around the world.
Of course, educational content resources are still one of the important influencing factors. Huawei has cooperated with iFlytek and other companies to create smart classrooms and promoted them in some domestic middle schools. In foreign countries, Google’s Chrome OS notebooks and Microsoft’s Surface are both here. A lot of resources have been invested in one area.
▲Surface go aimed at the education market
According to IDC data , before Q1 of 2020, ordinary tablet manufacturers did not have any products embedded with educational resources, and after Q3, the proportion of ordinary tablet computers with embedded educational resources has increased to 28%, and this data is still possible in the future Will continue to grow.
The tablet computer category has a shorter development history than mobile phones, but from the perspective of market share ranking, it has also entered the "mature stage" where giants dominate the market. Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, Amazon, and Huawei occupy most of the market. The winner-takes-all effect is still obvious.
▲ Proportion of the tablet computer market in the first quarter of 2021. Data source: IDC
Manufacturers' exploration of more functions and areas is nothing more than hoping to improve the product power of their own tablets, but there is still a question mark about the number of users who will actually use these functions.
On the contrary, the touch characteristics since its inception have allowed the tablet to show its strength in the education market.
The advantage of the Android tablet lies in the interaction
In the computer category, shipments of tablets and notebooks have skyrocketed due to the epidemic, while the reason for the substantial increase in notebook computers is often attributed to mobile office. It can be said that the oldest electronic product-notebook computers have not been eaten. Too many educational dividends.
Why is this happening?
This also starts from the difference in interaction between the two. Jobs once stated at the original iPhone conference that the removal of the keyboard brings more possibilities. The content and buttons are no longer in the one-to-one correspondence of the keyboard and mouse era, which indirectly contributed to this. The application market has exploded, and touch control has a lot of advantages in ease of use compared with computer keyboard and mouse interaction.
Fingers are a part of the human body. We have been learning to use it since we were born. The cost of learning is low, and it is easier to display on a tablet with a larger screen. A typical case is when playing FPS games such as "Peace Elite". Can better use the ten-finger operation.
Coupled with the younger generation's high degree of familiarity with the Internet and its carrier, the mobile phone, tablet computers have a faster learning speed and a smoother learning curve than computers with keyboard and mouse interaction.
The problem-solving ideas given by the iPad-Apple Pencil and external keyboards have also entered the Android tablet. Samsung, Huawei and others have prepared official keyboards and pens for their tablets.
There will even be matching note-taking software. For example, Samsung provides a note-taking software called Noteeshelf, which can write notes, titles, and color, which is more suitable for learning.
Another advantage of Android tablets compared to PCs is the price. The prices of mainstream Android tablets are not high. Huawei MatePad and Mi Pad 4 are all under 2,000 yuan, which is indeed lower than the starting price of 3,000 yuan notebooks.
In my previous article , I said that the iPad’s hardware is redundant, the performance is very strong, but there is no large software that can be fully eaten, and the Android tablet is facing another problem. The absence of Google and third parties has caused a serious shortage of the application ecosystem. The performance requirements are not so high. It is enough to watch an online class and write an assignment.
Another player in the education field, ChromeOS notebooks, also rely on low prices.
With new interactions and forms, the tablet computer defines a new consumer market at the moment it appears. It is a product between mobile phones and computers. With the continuous increase of mobile phone screens and Google's abandonment of ecology, this consumer market has gradually become silent.
If you want to continue to develop, it has become a new way to seize the consumer market that originally belonged to the computer. The exploration of productivity is not only a new definition of the future growth of this category by many manufacturers, but also hopes to use it to continue to increase sales. price.
However, even the three-piece office is not a complete version of it, and it is obviously difficult to gain user approval.
Fortunately, this market is still stable enough. There are still tens of millions of shipments in a single quarter. For manufacturers, the manufacture and sale of Android tablets has never been solely for the benefit of hardware premiums. The movements of several giants in the tablet market can be seen.
For manufacturers, the meaning of Android tablets is not just hardware profits
The epidemic is an accidental factor. The popularity of the tablet computer education market is mostly limited to low-end products. For manufacturers such as Samsung and Huawei, it is still necessary to improve product competitiveness and selling prices, and nearly 10 million sales can still help them. Create no small profits.
The absence of Google also gives manufacturers more room for free play. Huawei has moved the common services on its own mobile phones to the tablet, such as multi-screen collaboration, parallel vision and other functions, which also makes it better. Linked with other products in Huawei's hardware ecosystem.
A friend of mine who owns a variety of Huawei products once told me that after returning home from get off work, he rarely picks up his mobile phone. A tablet with a larger screen is not only more comfortable for entertainment, but you can control other devices while lying in bed and cast screens at the same time. The service also allows him to directly control his mobile phone, which is really appropriate as a bed entertainment device.
Samsung has given full play to its advantages in the supply chain, and the hardware quality of its products has reached a new level. Galaxy Tab S7+ is one of the few Android tablets equipped with an OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate.
▲ Galaxy Tab S7+ . Picture from: techadvisor
Looking at the top few tablet market shares, Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Lenovo all have their own computer business and mobile phone business. The traditional three-piece mobile phone, tablet, and computer can still bring a certain degree of ecological superimposition effect.
Ecological barriers will encourage users to give priority to products of the same brand when purchasing corresponding products in order to obtain a better experience, which will drive sales growth while keeping users in their own ecology.
On the other hand, as a hardware product, tablet is also a service distribution export for manufacturers. Xiaomi, as one of the masters of domestic customized systems, most of the tablet computers are equipped with WPS office software, reading software, etc. These system services are in To a certain extent, it solves the problem of less Android ecological applications and less adaptation.
It not only meets the needs of users, but also allows its own services to obtain more users and obtain longer-term profits.
The same is true for Amazon, which has occupied the top 5 sales charts all year round. The price of Fire HD is generally around 1,000 yuan. With a customized system, it provides corresponding Kindle and video streaming services. Low-cost hardware earns profits through continuous software distribution
This also makes the tens of millions of sales each year have more complicated meanings for various manufacturers, giving them the motivation to continue research and development and launch new products, and the fire in the education market is undoubtedly another shot in the heart, pushing more manufacturers to invest. Among them, Xiaomi, which announced the re-launch of the tablet, is one of them.
The continuous growth of the Android tablet market is not entirely dependent on productivity, but the answers given by each company under new opportunities-new products, are still worth looking forward to.