Latest Samsung Galaxy Tab has sparked new tablet interest in the Australian market
Samsung Galaxy Tab sparked tablet interest in Australian market
Industry commentators have been talking up the decline – and even the demise – of the tablet for the past five years or so. Part of the problem has been the difficulty in defining a tablet’s niche and purpose somewhere between a smartphone and a PC or laptop. Do we really need all three? If not, for which is the tablet an adequate substitute?
Things are looking up for tablet fans in one important market, and that could indicate good news for global sales and the tablet’s long-term viability. Canstar Blue has just released the results of two years market research into tablet use in Australia. The result? Renewed interest in premium tablets and a new favorite over the iPad.
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Samsung’s development efforts reap rewards
12 years ago, Samsung released its first Galaxy Tab, and looking back on it, it seemed more like a competitor for the Amazon Kindle than Apple’s iPad. But the development has been significant, with a revised tab hitting the shelves practically every year.
By the time the S6 came out, Samsung was on a par with Apple, and the most recent S8 is the best on the market. That, at least, is the verdict from Down Under, where PC sales are nosediving but there is a new demand for tablets.
Ideal for the casino generation
We tend to think of “the smartphone generation” – those in the millennial or Gen-Z cohort – when it comes to tech adoption. That’s not entirely accurate in this case, however. Researchers at senior welfare publication Life Connect 24 have noticed that seniors are abandoning their laptops and PCs in favor of tablets.
In Australia, we can think of these as the casino generation. Casino gaming is popular across all adult age ranges, but especially among over-55s, who are responsible for about 75 percent of the money wagered at casinos. Over the past three years, they have steadily shifted from playing in pubs and casinos to instead opting for online pokies for real money. A tablet provides a much easier playing experience than a smartphone, with easier controls that are far less fiddly – especially for those with arthritic hands.
It’s not just casino gamers of course. Older Australian generations have rapidly become tech-savvy and also use their tablets for other types of games, such as social puzzles and for keeping in touch with family through apps like Zoom. A tablet is lighter and more portable than a laptop but easier to see and less fiddly than a phone.
Tablets are not just for boomers
The impact of tablets on quality of life for seniors is good news, and retailers are happy to welcome silver spenders. But that is only one market for tablets in the 2020s.
The researchers found that as well as a spike in purchases by over 65s, there were also more sales in the 25-44 age range, most notably in higher income households. These users tend to use tablets for streaming media – almost as a backup or replacement for the TV.
Today Australia, tomorrow the world
There is a general philosophy in the tech world that what happens in Australia today will happen in the rest of the world tomorrow or next week. Australians are, to generalize, tech-ready, affluent and early movers. Time and again, the industry has seen Australia act as a barometer to show the rest of the world what is coming. It happened most noticeably with smartphone adoption, which accelerated first Down Under and then in Europe and the US.
Are we on the verge of a global tablet revival? Time will tell on that, but it is certainly premature to be discussing their demise.
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