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IDC: Tablet Market To Face Down Years Until Slight Rebound In 2018

IDC: Tablet Market To Face Down Years Until Slight Rebound In 2018

Worldwide tablet shipments are expected to decline 9.6 per cent year-on-year in 2016, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), and won’t return to growth until 2018.

The IDC expects detachable tablet growth to drive a slight rebound in the tablet market in 2018 and beyond.

While the detachable category currently only accounts for 16 per cent of the market, the IDC expects it to reach 31 per cent in 2020.

The IDC notes that the life cycles of tablets “have proven to be more like PCs a few years back, which is likely to be somewhere around four years”, with manufacturers large and small slowly shifting focus towards detachables.

The move to detachables has quickly resulted in increased product offerings and lower average selling prices, along with broadened consumer awareness of the category.

“Many traditional PC manufacturers have assumed the detachable category to be a natural extension of the PC market and perhaps assumed it would rightfully be theirs to capture,” the IDC notes.

They now “find themselves in head-to-head competition with a slew of new manufacturers” having created their market off smartphone and slate tablet growth.

“This brings new channel dynamics and lower prices to a brand new category with an abundance of upside,” the IDC states.

Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC tablets research director, noted that the detachable segment “is also considered by some manufacturers, like Apple, as a way to spur replacement cycles of the existing slate tablet installed base”.

“One reason why the slate tablet market is experiencing a decline is because end-users don’t have a good enough reason to replace them, and that’s why productivity-centric devices like detachable tablets are considered replacement devices for high-end larger slate tablets,” Bouchard commented.

The IDC expects that well over 100 million slates will ship annually through to 2020, with the main driver being the low cost associated with smaller-screen slate devices, with the IDC expecting average selling prices for slate tablets with screen sizes less than 9” to decline from US$183 in 2015 to US$157 in 2020.

“It wasn’t long ago the industry talked about one PC per person and to some extent that theory has vanished,” Ryan Reith, IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers program vice president, commented. “I’d rather look at it and say the PC we were referencing six to eight years ago has changed, drastically.

“In many emerging markets the only computing device for many will be a mobile device, whether that is a small-screen tablet, smartphone, or both. This is the main reason why, despite all the hype that the detachable category receives, we believe cheaper slate tablets fill an important void.”

In the detachable tablet operating system market, the IDC forecasts that Windows will command a 49 per cent worldwide market share this year, rising to 51 per cent in 2020, with Android to capture a 12 per cent share in 2016, rising to 20 per cent in 2020, and iOS to capture a 38 per cent share this year, dropping to 29 per cent in 2020.

In the slate tablet operating system market, the IDC forecasts that this year Android will command a 75 per cent worldwide market share, with its market share to remain the same at 75 per cent in 2020, iOS to capture a 22 per cent share this year, dropping to 21 per cent in 2020, and Windows to capture a 3 per cent share this year, rising to 4 per cent in 2020.

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