Are tablets dying?

Global tablet market is declining and we are getting less than 5% of traffic from tablets.

  • In the enterprise space, I've seen an increase in tablet usage. I've mostly stopped using mine for anything but research, but not everyone has dropped them. Mar 29, 2016 at 5:44
  • Anecdotal but the fairly major Ecommerce site I work for gets closer to 20% and seems to be growing, so it's not dying out everywhere atleast.
    – DasBeasto
    Mar 29, 2016 at 16:18
  • 5% is still a lot, 5 out of every 100. That's a big number to let slip through your fingers due to shoddy UX. Especially when 'mobile-first' design principles are so popular these days anyway.
    – Logan
    Mar 30, 2016 at 14:20

5 Answers 5


I think your answer lies in your question, also it may only be 5% of traffic, but who are those users? I would find that out before ignoring them.

My employer's main traffic comes from desktops due to the nature of what it publishes online (large documents). However the site is designed to be mobile responsive for ease of use on such a platform. Although the tablet users are an insignificant blip on the analytics those users are likely to belong to the press/media who need their content quickly - so I cannot discount them as less important.

Plus, you could explore that maybe users aren't choosing to view your site in tablet because it's not designed to be therefor not a pleasant experience. A good question.

I hope this helps! Sometimes stats don't tell the full picture of who your users are (see personas).

Until tablets have gone the way of Zip Drives I'd keep them in mind based on my answer above.

  • +1 for this "maybe users aren't choosing to view your site in tablet because it's not designed to be therefor not a pleasant experience." See if you have budget to do user/customer research.
    – nightning
    Mar 29, 2016 at 21:33
  • +1 the answer more often than not does lie in the question. In Australia there is still a strong tablet market (if the stats are to be believed)
    – Michael Lai
    Mar 29, 2016 at 23:58

I believe it depends on your audience. Here in south east asia, tablets are on the rise, especially among young people. So you need to focus on who is your target audience, and what are they using.

We will see more mobile devices coming in, like smartwatches and VR headsets. Also keep in mind that younger generations are more willing to try out new kinds of devices compared to their predecessors.

When you say, designing a tablet friendly site. its either or both of the following

  • responsive
  • touch friendly

even to your existing website, minor things can be done to make it tablet friendly without having to completely redesign your website or create a separate one. alot of recent design trends tend to come from mobile, so these are very likely help make a website tablet friendly too


Yes, without a doubt

First, I have no idea where are you getting this 5% figure, but even if this was the case, it's a quite reasonable figure to consider. While it's obvious that desktop and mobile have a way bigger share, you have to remember most people have several different devices, so your visitor can get to your site at different times and different screens.

See some statistics about usage of tablets (personally I find them a bit high, but way more realistic than 5%)

enter image description here

Also, you need to consider different aspects, like usage. For example, mobile is more "app driven" while tablets will probably use a responsive versuon of the site. Also (and this based only in my own research, so take it with a grain of salt), as long as thye have the choice, older people likes tablets better than mobile to surf the web, basically a question of size. This is something we have observed in corporate users as well: tablet usage is not higher than mobile, but way higher than other people, specially young demographics. This might be the explanation of tablets having better conversions than mobile:

enter image description here Warning: just a theory!

Finally, in this age of responsive layouts, building a site for tablet really isn't much more than doing it for mobile. If you use a framework such as Bootstrap or Foundation, Most of the times you might need jus a few adjustments, if any. So a big return for meaningless effort!

Disclaimer: all images are from Mobile Marketing Statistics compilation

Disclaimer 2: Answer written on an iPad :)

  • I think the 5% were the current tablet traffic on his page, not the general world wide tablet usage :)
    – Jan
    Mar 29, 2016 at 12:43
  • yes I see that now. However, it doesn't mean his site is safe from technological trend changes that may happen in a very short period of time. And the cost to avoid this is close to 0, so the answer still remains valid
    – Devin
    Mar 29, 2016 at 16:26

It's simple. Follow the MVP approach.

2 variables, Demand and Supply i.e. User's need and Designer/Developer's efforts/Time

If you have very less time to deliver, look at the largest fragment of devices used by customers, design for them, ignore the rest for now and work on them later when you do have time

But if you have enough time on your plate, please go ahead and make a perfect design for all possible devices. Its always the best practice

Another question that often needs to be answered is wether you are creating a responsive website or a mobile specific website which basically affects the time required to design/develop the website


If you are getting less than 5% tablet traffic, you don't need to make a changes to your website because its not worth the cost. Globally tablet traffic is not growing but, not declining too.

Every website is different and has different trafic profile. In your particular niche you are receiving 5% but that don't mean that global tablet traffic is declining.

However, if you have more than 5% mobile traffic then the you should consider using responsive design.

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