More tablet computers sold on eBay than desktops

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Today’s the first time you can purchase the new Blackberry Playbook from UK high street retailers. Carphone Warehouse has an exclusive today in a handful of outlets including their concession in Selfridges, but from tomorrow it will be more widely available.

Whether it’s the tablet for you or if you’d prefer the iPad or Motorola Xoom is up for debate, but the UK are definitely embracing tablets which have overtaken sales of traditional desktop PCs on eBay. In May 2011, sales of tablets accounted for around 15% of computers sold on eBay UK, compared to around 3% at the same time last year. Laptops and netbooks accounted for around 70% of computer sales last month on eBay in the UK, compared to almost 80% in May 2010.

Tablet computers and accessories on eBay UK have increased ten-fold over the past year and sales show no signs of slowing down. Tablets are also good for trade – Angus McCarey, Retail Director for eBay UK explained “People shop differently on mobile and tablets versus traditional PCs: they spend more money, do more browsing and purchase across a wider variety of products.” He also said that iPad shoppers on eBay spend approximately 40% more than an average iPhone user, and that they expect to see similar trends with other tablet users.

I’m still on the fence as far as tablets go, I have a laptop and a netbook but I can’t remember the last time I booted up my computer. Whether I can justify the purchase of a tablet is at the moment up for debate – I’d be unlikely to use it more than a laptop, but it would be a lot more portable when out and about and travelling to meetings. Currently I’m still trying to decide whether to splash out on a tablet or not – what would you advise?

8 Responses

  1. I have been looking at this portable area for several months and decided that the tablet market was still in its infancy and moving way to fast and touch screen typing for me was not that brilliant. But also felt that 10″ netbooks were not powerful enough and did not have enough screen resolution for my needs.

    So went for the brand new recently launched HP 11.8″ netbook with the new AMD Fusion processor with 6-9 hours battery life and full Windows 7 and a high resolution backlit display. I felt this would be futureproof for a good 3-4 years and provides mobility. Suits me fine and and I can comfortably operate my desktop from it from any where in the world using Logmein.

  2. That could be due to eBays DSR for postage and packing. If I sold computer gear I woundn’t sell computer gear with a high postage cost on eBay.

  3. When the stats say ‘tablets’ they effectively mean iPads as no other tablet has sold in sufficient numbers to make a statistical impact. So it could be that Apple customers spend more than Windows users (likely) or that Apple users spend more time using their ‘tablet’ because battery life is better and the UI/UX superior or any number of other reasons.

    The iPad is meant more for use within a building (especially the home) rather than transporting around although is better for use in meetings because it lies flat without the barrier created by a laptop or netbook screen. If you can’t see a compelling reason to buy one then don’t.

    For the the optimum power and portability a Macbook Air looks good, no viruses for Mac OS X in ten years and runs Windows too (you have to buy at retail price). Apple’s kit has always offered future-proofing especially if you consider resale values, typically you can upgrade after two years and get 70% of what you paid, just look at eBay prices! RIM looks like it is going to plummet over the next few months, its forecast caused the stock price to drop 20%+ last week.

  4. “There are zero viruses for Mac OS X.”

    The first one is going to cause utter chaos!



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