Rob Enderle, who is a principal analyst at the Enderle Group, claims that tablets are dying as millions of the people who buy them suddenly work out there is no earthly use for them.
Writing in SD Times, Enderle said that over the last year iPads have been finding their way to shelves where they are collecting dust.
He thinks that many of them were replaced by MacBook Air laptops but interest in tablets is slowly waning in favour of something a bit more powerful.
Enderle said that Intel has been the first to grasp where tablets were leading to and came up with the Ultrabook. But this missed one of the more important things from the brief fling with tablets. People wanted touch and they wanted long battery life, which is something that Ultrabooks don’t quite have enough of yet.
He thinks that this year, the flavour of the month will be the hybrid notebook/tablet computer which will be enough to kill off both traditional notebooks and tablets.
Enderle said that there wre two types of hybrids on the market now. The first is like the Lenovo X1 Hybrid, which has both an x86 and an ARM processor to give it laptop-like features, and a 10 hour battery life.
The other is the Asus Transformer and Transformer Prime, a product that could morph from laptop to tablet.
He thinks that the coming generation will run Windows 8, which should mean the tablet/notebook hyrbid that punters want should be around.
He also expects a third choice to appear which combines the first two. Since Windows 8 has an ARM and an x86 version, there could be a hybrid that combines both ideas but provides a common user interface and can move between modes.
The tablet would be ARM-based and limited to the Metro interface, while in laptop mode it would be a fully capable laptop.