By Kymberly Martin
Convertible 2-in-1s setting the pace.
Sales for tablet devices grew 4% year-on-year to 1.59 million units in the first half of 2016, according to technology analyst firm Telsyte. The market for tablets had stabilised in the past two years and the spike in sales is coming off the back of convertible 2-in-1s as the market starts to embrace these more expensive and versatile devices rather than lower-end, slate-only formats.
The Telsyte Australian Media Tablet Market Study 2016-2020 showed the Apple iPad Pro, Microsofts’s Surface tablets and the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S have seen growing adoption, halting the unit sales decline after the market took a battering following a collapse in sub-premium devices in 2014. The top four vendors with 80% of the market in H1, 2016 were Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Lenovo.
The market is on track to record sales of 3.21 million units by the end of the year, as consumers start to replace ageing tablets and computers with newer, more functional touch screen devices.
“The market seems to have turned a corner,” Telsyte managing director, Foad Fadaghi said.
Despite a fall in market share, Telsyte believes Apple will retain its market leadership in the next two years as the company continues to enjoy a repeat purchase intention rate of 80%, according to Telsyste research. Many of the top selling iPad models from a few years ago, such as the third generation iPad released in 2012 and the iPad 2 released in 2011, are now unsupported as these devices are no longer capable of loading the latest iOS 10 operating system.
The rise of 2-in-1s is expected to also drive demand for other tablet accessories, such as protective covers, styluses, port extensions and adapters.
One in five tablets sold in H1, 2016 were Window-based devices, indicating a growing trend which has been driven by Microsoft-branded tablets. Microsoft retains leadership in the Windows 2-in-1 category, according to the latest Telsyte findings. “Telsyte believes sales of Windows-based tablets should exceed Android-based unit sales within the next 18 months,” Fadaghi said.
It was also commented that Android tablet sales might also be impacted by the Samsung Note7 recall and eventual withdrawal, despite the Note7 not being in the tablet category. The study included estimates of computer purchase intentions, as the tablet and computer market increasingly merge. Findings show that a PC replacement cycle is due with more than 700,000 PCs and Macs (without touchscreens) expected to be sold in the second half of 2016 with around 12% of these being Apple computers.
Telyste figures show that 15.1 million Australians now have access to a tablet device – almost two-thirds of people across all age groups.