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Forget tablets, think big screens and small screens

The idea has been building for a while now that tablets are losing significance as a category of devices and last week Benedict Evans posted data that to my mind makes the case unequivocally.

The main news here is that iPad sales have flattened:

iPad salesEvans also has data showing that Android tablets aren’t having much of an impact.

The other parts of the story are that smartphone sales continue to rocket and PC sales continue their slow decline. Check out Evans’ post for more data and a fuller argument.

From the perspective of the ecommerce companies in which we invest the most important conclusion is that smartphones are going to continue to take an increasing share of transactions and the importance of working well on mobile early in the life of a company continues to grow. Evans’ emerging and more interesting conclusion is that it’s making less sense to think too much about tablets as a separate category. The use cases for tablets are not that different to laptops – they are similarly sized items to carry after all – so keeping things simple by thinking about two primary experiences – small screen (smartphone) and big screen (tablet, laptop, desktop) makes good sense.