The global pandemic negatively impacted economies world wide. Millions lost their jobs in the U.S. and in other countries. Despite this harrowing fact, certain consumer products are having a great year. For example, the tablet market popped as companies ordered employees to work from home. Tablets sales also benefited from school-age kids distance learning via the device. Some families had to go from owning one PC or tablet for the household to owning multiple devices so as to keep everyone in the family connected.
The pandemic hikes demand for tablets, PCs and laptops
According to research firm Canalys (via Reuters), these additional purchases will hike the number of installed PCs and tablets from 1.64 billion at the end of 2019 to 1.77 billion by the end of next year. Components used to produce tablets such as screens and processors are hard to fine because of the demand. Forecasts for next year would be even higher if not for the shortages of such supplies. According to Ryan Reith, an analyst at researcher IDC, demand for tablets, PCs, and laptops could continue to rise into 2022 as governments in various countries disseminate stimulus money for schools and businesses. The demand for such devices is illustrated by a story repeated by Canalys analyst Ishan Dutt who said that back in April a desperate customer told a vendor that any device with a keyboard would suffice as long as delivery took no longer than one week. Dutt said that such desperation has since subsided but demand for upgrades has continued to put pressure on manufacturers.
The fourth-generation Apple iPad Air is powered by a cutting-edge 5nm chip
Demand for tablets, PCs and laptops has slipped ever since the original Apple iPhone was launched in 2007. PC shipments peaked at around 300 million units in 2008 and has been dropping toward 250 million. But now, quite unexpectedly, the 300 million level is back as analysts see that many PCs shipped by the end of this year. And analysts also expect tablet shipments to grow faster than the 15% growth forecast for PCs in 2020.
Next Spring, Apple will reportedly offer an entry level iPad with Touch ID, an A13 Bionic chipset (used on the iPhone 11 series) with a price of $299. A new iPad Pro model is supposedly on the way and could support high-band 5G with a mmWave Antenna in Package module. The next iPad Pro could feature an OLED display and be powered by a 5nm A14X Bionic. Such a device might make its way to the marketplace by the second half of next year. Apple saw iPad sales rise 11.5% during the last fiscal year. For the fiscal fourth quarter, the year-over-year gain in iPad sales rose by 46%.
The iPad remains the most popular tablet available and with the pandemic continuing to raise demand for these devices, Apple is developing a broader line with newer and advanced features that should keep demand high and keep Apple on top of the tablet world.