Smart Home has significant growth opportunities in 2016. While consumers are losing interest in Tablets and Laptops, which saw big drops in both buzz and delight from March 2015- March 2016, Smart Home and Wearables are maturing both in user experience and demand. Though Smartphone buzz increased, the market saw growth slow significantly in recent months, with users expressing less satisfaction.
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A lot has changed since Steve Jobs publicly denounced the need for a stylus in his introduction of the iPhone in 2007. Namely, Apple released a stylus. While our fingers remain attached to us, and are therefore far less likely than a stylus to be lost or broken, Apple announced a stylus as an accessory for their business focused iPad Pro in their September 2015 keynote. The inclusion of a stylus with an Apple product clearly deviated from the company’s early messaging, but a stylus provides increased accuracy, needed for the advanced functions of the iPad Pro.
Since the release, iPad Pro consumers have been happy with the device, reporting higher delight for Apple’s iPad Pro than Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4. Analysis of recent consumer reviews about the stylus used with each tablet shows that consumers are also more satisfied with the Apple Pencil than the Surface Pen. The bars of the funnel below display the percentage of iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 feedback in which consumers mentions of Stylus, Apple Pencil, and Surface Pen. Red is negative sentiment; blue is positive, and gray is neutral. While Microsoft consumers mention the stylus at a higher rate than Apple users, consumers report far more disappointment with the Surface Pro 4, with the majority of negative feedback mentioning broken tips and poor responsiveness. Apple’s branding is also stronger, as Apple users refer to the devices as an “Apple Pencil” more often than a generic “stylus,” while Microsoft users use “stylus” over “Surface Pen.”
Tablets are a wonderful device for getting work done while you are on the go, but the market has gotten so cluttered it is difficult to identify the best devices. Major manufacturers Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung all offer several different tablets with a variety of sizes and functions. Among the high end models from these tech giants, Apple’s iPad Pro is the most well liked, while Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 receives the most consumer feedback but is the least liked of the bunch (the size of the bubbles in the chart below represents consumer review volume by week).
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Gone are the days of fighting over the television remote. Now, you use your giant smartphone to keep up on emails while watching House of Cards on your tablet as your kids enjoy their own cartoons on Netflix or entertain themselves playing Temple Run on their own devices. The use of personal electronics for content consumption has taken off, and users are migrating away from large, communal televisions and small smartphones toward the happy middle ground of phablets and tablets to entertain themselves.
Large screens brought large mindshare for Apple smartphones and tablets
In the midst of this large screen, small device trend, Apple has stalled the production of their new iPad to produce a larger device. Their iPad sales have been suffering, and they plan to target the cooperate market with these larger devices. A 12.9 inch screen and alleged plans to add USB ports and an optional attachable mouse and/or keyboard are blurring the lines between tablet and laptop. A similar phenomenon occurred when Apple released the larger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets. Sales of the big smartphones have “been cannibalizing…iPad sales.” Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has been quoted to say that this is a good problem to have, as the company is merely making competition for itself. 
Small & large Apple tablets see more consumer feedback than Samsung’s Pro Tab line
Apple smartphones are competing with Apple tablets, while those same tablets have the potential to compete with Apple laptops, but consumers are far more interested in Apple tablets than those made by Samsung. Big or small, Apple’s devices see more consumer reviews.
Although they are outshining the competition, Apple must compete with themselves as growing screen sizes shift usage expectations. With the introduction of their larger, more cooperate focused tablets, Apple is beginning a targeted, niche enterprise in which iPad users can easily crunch numbers on a spreadsheet and compose documents, or watch Netflix and play games.
Argus Insights will continue to track consumer engagement in the tablet and smartphone markets. Check back to hear more about the progression of user experience as it pertains to screen size and to follow the launch of new products. We monitor various consumer electronics markets as well as B2B infrastructure conversation. Please contact us with any questions or business inquiries.
Interested in who & what won mindshare during Mobile World Congress? Request a free copy of our Post MWC Report.
Find Out Which Brands and Products were the Biggest Winners in Barcelona
Argus Insights has been monitoring social conversations at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Before MWC, we hosted a webinar highlighting the brands and products that drove the most mindshare heading into the showcase, for which the slides and presentation are now available to download. Simply fill out the form and we’ll send that your way immediately.
Now that the event has passed, find out which brands, products, and tech trends were sparking interest during MWC. Argus Insights would also like to offer a free Post MWC 2015 Report (usually valued at $3,000) as a gift. The stories that we are finding are just too good that we believe everyone can benefit from the data. The world is talking and we’re listening, take advantage of our comprehensive analysis:
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