Mossberg counters the conventional wisdom about tablet explosive growth petering out with two charts:
Walt Mossberg, In Defense of Tablets
When I first reviewed the iPad, I wrote that, to succeed, “It will have to prove that it really can replace the laptop or netbook for enough common tasks, enough of the time, to make it a viable alternative.”
For me, and for many, many others, the tablet passes this bar. And the results in the marketplace have been impressive, especially considering that the iPad was introduced only four years ago. Since then, Apple has sold 225 million of them, despite its famous premium pricing. And total tablet sales are, by some estimates, approaching half a billion units.
According to respected venture capitalist and analyst Mary Meeker, in her annual Internet trends report presented at our Code Conference in May, tablet sales have exploded in a way that PC sales — including sales of cheap netbooks — never did.
What’s more, Meeker said, tablets have lots of growth ahead of them.
To get a sense of how big the iPad alone has become in just four years, check out this chartby Slate.com. It shows that, in Apple’s last fiscal quarter — a quarter in which iPad sales declined — the tablet (not all of Apple) still brought in nearly $6 billion in revenue, an amount exceeding the quarterly revenues of Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Groupon and Tesla combined.