As replacement cycles grow.
Australian tablet sales fell in the past six months due to a continued decline in the Android market and a slowing in growth of the maturing 2-in-1 segment, according to research from Australian emerging technology analyst firm, Telsyte.
Telsyte estimates around 1.6 million tablets were sold in the second half of 2018, down 2.1% from the previous corresponding period.
Apple remained the leader in tablet sales share with the 2018 iPad 9.7 inch once again the most popular model due to its price point. Both Apple (up 5.1%) and Windows-based (up 2.1%) devices experienced growth during the half, but the big mover was Android-based devices, with sales down 21%.
The top three vendors were Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft, with combined shares accounting for more than 75% of total sales during the half. Apple remained the leader in repeat purchase intention in the tablet category, followed by Samsung (more than 80% and 50% respectively).
Telsyte research found the 2-in-1 device category has passed its early growth phase with around 3.5 million Australians now using one, of which more than 70% are Windows-based.
Tablet sales are expected to continue to face challenges due to longer overall replacement cycles as consumers hold onto their chosen device longer. The average replacement cycle of tablets has increased to around 3.1 years, a faster rate compared to smartphones, according to Telsyte research.
Telsyte estimates around 15.7 million Australians had access to a tablet at the end of 2018 making it a highly mature segment.
While Australians are replacing their tablets less frequently, tablet users are still spending around two hours per day on their slate devices, which is similar to previous years. With technologies such as 5G, eSIMs and larger shared mobile data plans, there is still huge potential for more connected tablets and 2-in-1s to be realised.
Telsyte estimates around two million tablets were connected to mobile networks at the end of 2018.
“The arrival of 5G will likely spur further interest for connected tablets, potentially among gamers due to lower latency,” Telsyte senior analyst, Alvin Lee said.