Tablet sales have been in decay for a while now, as many users don’t find them a necessary purchase anymore. This issue comes primarily from device manufacturers pushing the size boundary between a phablet and a tablet closer with every passing day. Ever since tablet sales reached their peak, carriers have been trying out new approaches to increase the rate of tablets capable of connecting to cellular networks. Three of the four major carriers in the U.S. have already confirmed that despite the overall decrease in tablet sales across the country, they are actually facing an increase in cellular data-enabled tablets. Carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, heavily promoted and discounted tablets during the year’s first quarter as part of their new strategy. According to analysts, there has been a major increase in revenue from the carrier’s tablet sales themselves, even if the demise of tablets seems to be getting closer.
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Tablets offer great functionality for users that feel the need of a bigger screen to both work and entertainment purposes, but with smartphones becoming exponentially bigger, the original purpose of tablets has been overtaken by smartphones. Manufacturers must now find a way to reverse the sales slowdown by adding new value to tablets. There was a major 3 percent decrease in tablet sales of Q1 2015, over last year. Only around 13.4 million units were sold during the first three months of this year; whereas, in 2014, tablet sales hit 13.8 million units.
Carriers strongly believe that the inclusion of cellular data in tablets is the answer to the issues tablets have been facing for a while now, as they saw an increase from 2.2 million to 3.2 million sales in this year´s first quarter. Tablets connected to cellular networks have been stated to be more useful than tablets restricted to WiFi. The added value that carriers are offering is that users can be just as productive with a light and portable tablet, as they are with a laptop. Using new marketing strategies, Verizon saw an increase to 711,000 sold tablets; coming from 313,000 last year. This is an increase of more than fifty percent, which is an incredible growth for any company. AT&T sold 441,000 tablets with a cellular data connection, Verizon summed up 820,000 LTE tablets to their sales while Sprint added 349,000. It is uncertain what future holds for tablets, with overall sales slowing down, and users adopting smartphones, it is clear that tablets will soon face a major change.