Laptops are dead, long live laptops: Our passionate fling with the tablet looks like it's already over



Our love of tablets could be waning.

That's according to Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly, who this week declared that sales of the devices are falling dramatically.

"The tablets boomed and now are crashing," Joly told Re/code. "The volume has really gone down in the last several months."

According to the head of the consumer electronics retailer, a lack of innovation is crippling the market. More specifically, he believes that manufacturers almost cursed themselves with too good a start.

"The tablets have been an unbelievable phenomenon." he said. "I don't think there's a category that ever took off so quickly and so big in the history of tech.

"The issue has then been that, once you have a tablet of a certain generation, it's not clear that you have to move on to the next generation.

"As a consumer. I think replacement is the issue. The penetration has gone so fast ... and the level of innovation in the past year has not been as great as it had been in the previous two years."

Another reason for this slump is the transformation and revival of the laptop.

"I think the laptop has something of a revival because it's becoming more versatile," said Joly. "So, with the two-in-ones, you have the opportunity to have both a tablet and laptop, and that's appealing to students in particular. So you have an evolution. The boundaries are not as well defined as they used to be."

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a good example of this movement. The device couples ultimate portability with high performance, and can be counted as a genuine rival to Apple's much-lauded MacBook Air. 


Despite waves of negative press over the last year or so, traditional laptops and PCs are still held in very high regard by consumers. A report which emerged this week shows that people value their laptops over tablets and even smartphones, because they are considered more useful.

"I don't think the laptop has said its last word," concluded Joly. I don't think so either.




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