Hardware resellers should be on the lookout for a coming wave of touchscreen desktops that is set to swamp the local market, if Telsyte’s latest Australian IT industry predictions are accurate.
The CSC-owned IT industry research firm’s recent Telsyte Australian Tablet Market Study 2017 suggests that sales of tablet devices in Australia continued to rebound in the second half of 2016 with 1.64 million units sold.
The local market saw a half year-on-half year increase of two per cent in tablet devices during the period, facilitated by a boom in convertible ‘2-in-1’ Windows tablet sales, which accounted for 27 per cent of all devices sold.
Convertible ‘2-in-1’s now make up 30 per cent of sales, up from 15 per cent in the second half of 2015, the analyst firm said.
Additionally, Microsoft’s Windows has almost overtaken Google’s Android as the most popular operating system for tablets in Australia, which retains 29 per cent, but is still behind the market leader, Apple with 44 per cent market share, according to Telsyte.
Telsyte suggests that the trends it has observed in the local market point to a move away from sub-premium tablet devices, and an impending take-up of larger, more substantial touch-screen computing devices.
“Tablets are no longer just about media consumption, touchscreen devices are revolutionising the creative experience,” Telsyte managing director, Foad Fadaghi, said.
As such, the company expects to see the introduction of larger format, desktop touch computers, such as Microsoft’s Surface Studio. Telsyte expects this predicted trend to boost what it suggests is an otherwise sluggish PC market, with the local PC replacement cycle growing to 4.7 years.
By 2021, according to Telsyte, at least 10 per cent of desktop PCs sold locally will have touch screen interfaces and, as screen prices come down, they are likely to become more pervasive.
Further, the company believes that Microsoft and its OEM partners will work to cater for different segments of this bourgeoning market, developing both tabletop and desktop touch interfaces using Windows 10 in a variety of form factors.
Telsyte revealed that 80 per cent of the IT decision makers in Australia and New Zealand that it surveyed for the study indicated that they are already buying or interested in purchasing larger format touch screen computers for their organisation.
Telsyte’s predictions echo previous comments by IDC, with the research firm in December last year suggesting that the global tablet market could rebound in 2018, albeit slowly, as detachable tablets continue to gain market share.
"The transition to detachables is inevitable, but slate tablets will remain relevant as highlighted by recent results from Amazon with its Kindle Fire portfolio," said IDC tablets research director, Jean Philippe Bouchard, in December last year.
"Fueled by ultra low-end prices and a growing ecosystem play involving the Internet of Things, slate tablets will still account for more than twice the volume of the detachable segment with 124 million units forecast to be shipped in 2020,” he said.