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Nexus 9 Points To Reasons For Tablet Market Stagnation

The new Nexus family
When the original iPad arrived three and a half years ago it created a market for a third screen that had never existed before. When Samsung released the original Galaxy Tab it showed that a smaller tablet was a valid choice for that third screen.

Whilst the market has grown phenomenally over the last three years, it's been a year of stagnation this year and the new Nexus 9 demonstrates why.

The iPad hasn't improved dramatically since the launch of the iPad 2, which in typical Apple style addressed the shortcomings of the original and caused a blow up in sales. Since then we've had small improvements with each generation - better screens, lighter shells - but in reality, there's no compelling reason if you have an iPad 2, it will still do everything you originally bought it for.

On the Android side there's been a little bit more innovative thinking. The Asus Transformer, Galaxy Note and Lenovo Yoga are good examples, but again, once you have your tablet there's little incentive to upgrade unless you want a feature provided by a later Android version.

So, the Nexus 9, a HTC built tablet which arrives with Android 5.0 Lollipop. It's really has no compelling features that demand you upgrade. It's a nice enough looking tablet and I'm sure it will be as nice to hold and use. But unless you treasure pure Android and prompt upgrades direct from Google there really seems to be no reason to upgrade to the newer device.

Apple will shortly be revealing its new iPads, with refreshes to the Air and Mini expected and an iPad Pro - at a much bigger size - an outside possibility. The big change this year is expected to be the arrival of TouchID. Again it doesn't seem like the sort of upgrade that's going to get customers falling over themselves to grab an upgrade.

It's interesting to see how quickly the tablet market has gone from birth to maturity and on to commodity. Most of the real advances in the tablet market have been the improvement in the quality of tablets that can be bought at the bottom of the market.


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