Consumer Tablet and PC Demand Trends: No Holiday Bump for Tablet and PC Buying

Consumer tablet demand has steadily declined in recent years. A recent Voice of the Connected User Landscape survey shows further challenges as the holiday season failed to provide the typical bump in tablet buying.

Apple and Microsoft are focusing on high-end ‘Pro’ tablets, while Samsung continues to offer a wide range of price points and screens sizes. For Amazon, the focus has been on lower-cost tablets that leverage the company’s large ecosystem.

A November survey of 2,257 primarily North American respondents from 451 Research’s Leading Indicator panel focused on how these strategies are translating to consumer demand and customer satisfaction. The survey also took a look at the PC market, including Microsoft’s upgraded Surface Book.

Overall Tablet Demand. The tablet market continues to struggle despite the holiday season. Less than one-in-ten (8%) respondents now say they plan on purchasing a tablet in the next 6 months. As the following chart shows, this is the weakest November reading for tablet buying in the past five years:

data blog kb jan20

While previous November surveys have typically shown a holiday bump in consumer tablet demand, the overall trend has been negative – with each successive year since 2011 coming in lower than the previous one.

Microsoft Surface Book. Interest among respondents in the updated 2-in-1 Surface Book laptop (1% Very Likely, 6% Somewhat) is weaker compared to November 2015 when we asked about interest in the original Surface Book after it had been announced (3% Very Likely, 12% Somewhat). This is not surprising as the newest model received only graphics and battery life upgrades compared to the original model.  

data blog surface book graph

Learn more about Voice of the Connected User Landscape here. 
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