Even Microsoft can’t save the tablet market. Not when there is a clear and present shift towards hybrids and 2-in-1 devices. Figures provided by IDC confirm what we already knew.
That the tablet market has continued its decline in the second quarter of 2017.
A drop of 3.4% year over year is substantial enough — more so when you consider the lack of growth that this once fledgling market had a few years back. Now, though, the total shipments have come in at around 37.9 million units.
And the big takeaway is that the traditional form factor has been losing ground.
According to Jitesh Ubrani, the senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers at IDC:
“There’s been a resetting of expectations for detachables as competing convertible notebooks offered a convincing and familiar computing experience for many.
To date, the 2-in-1 market was bifurcated as Apple and Microsoft led with detachables while the PC vendors led with convertibles. Though that is slowly changing as smartphone vendors and traditional PC vendors begin to offer compelling alternatives, the pace has been rather slow as Surface and iPad Pro still dominate shelf space and mindshare.”
Of course, with Microsoft having pioneered the 2-in-1 market in 2012 with the Surface RT, it still commands a very respectable mindshare.
But companies like Samsung and Huawei are also growing at a very fast pace, in a market that Apple is leading. Both are prominent Windows 10 tablet markets, and Redmond will still be pleased with the results. As long as Windows powered tablets continue to stay in the spotlight.
However, with more and more companies, including Apple, deciding to enhance their tablets with features that transform them into detachable, things could get rather interesting, rather quickly.
The market research firm expects a small recovery next quarter, though, aided partially by Apple and Microsoft who both launched their new models this summer.