After two years of decline, the global tablet market is starting to flourish with projections in 2017 highlighting moderate demand for 2-in-1s, Windows tablets, and enterprise sales.
The rise in popularity is attributed to tablets being seen by buyers as “cost-effective computing devices” for both entertainment and productivity, according to a recent report from analyst firm, Strategy Analytics.
Findings showed the 2-in-1/Pro Slate segment is anticipated to grow by 16 per cent from 2016 to 2020, as prices fall to more reasonable levels.
Additionally, Surface Pro and iPad Pro are the flagship representations of how a tablet can perform as well as a PC, but many consumers don’t need that much power for everyday tasks, and most consumers cannot afford the premium price tags they currently carry, the research firm suggested.
“In the second-half of 2016, we are seeing a reasonable decline in prices for 2-in-1 tablets and premium-specced tablets meant for PC replacement in developing markets, which is beginning to have an effect on consumer demand,” said Strategy Analytics service director tablet and touchscreen strategies, Peter King.
“Vendors following this strategy, such as Apple, are beginning to show signs of resurgence.”
According to the analyst firm, iOS tablet shipments are steadying and will show some improvement over the coming years as Apple’s efforts to sell iPad into enterprises pays off and consumers replace older iPads due to hardware and software innovation.
Additionally, the Windows segment is expected to grow by nine per cent from 2016 to 2020 as Android falls one per cent during the same period.
According to Strategy Analytics senior analyst tablet and touchscreen strategies, Eric Smith, Windows 10 has given vendors the power to position tablets against PCs and allowed consumers the flexibility to complete daily activities on a 2-in-1 device.
“For enterprise users, processors for tablets have become incredibly powerful and enable high-end tablets to compete head-to-head with many traditional PCs," Smith said.
"Android slates will continue to play an important role in the market for low-cost entertainment devices, but until there is a serious shift toward multi-tasking, Android will continue to lose market share to Windows and iOS devices,” he said.
Strategy Analytics said the enterprise segment is forecast to climb nine per cent from 2016 to 2020, reflecting the significant penetration of mobility in the enterprise.
Driven by tablet adoption by individuals within business, companies will continue to refine their line-of-business applications and processes for the “touchscreen paradigm,” and increase investments and deployments.
The analyst firm added that Apple's iPad Pro is also expected to boost corporate-liable tablet shipments, as businesses turn to the larger, more powerful iPad as a PC replacement for travelling employees.