Last year in Australia, there were 1.4 million tablets sold and whilst tablet sales on the whole are declining, Android tablets seem to be taking the biggest hit. Android tablet sales declined by a whopping 29 per cent during the first half of 2016 alone. And whilst Android does remain the dominant smartphone operating system, many industry analysts are predicting by the end of the year, Windows tablets will overtake Android.
Manufacturers driving the shift
Consumers are not solely responsible for the decline in sales of Android tablets. According to the Telsyte Australian Tablet Computer Market Study 2017-2021, many manufacturers are turning their back on Android and shifting their focus to Windows 10-based touchscreen devices. The top four tablet manufacturers are Apple, Microsoft, Lenovo and Samsung who between them sell 80 per cent of all tablets in Australia. Apple is the dominant play in the market with iPad making up half of all sales.
Migrating to 2-in-1 devices
There is however a shift towards 2-in-1 tablet devices, a category which includes the iPad Pro. The shift is significant because they make up more than one third of all tablet sales. This is great news for Microsoft and its Windows operating system given the fact the company really struggled in the smartphone space before ultimately exiting that business.
Microsoft regaining lost ground
Foad Fadaghi of Telsyte says Microsoft seems to be regaining lost ground by capturing more market share for devices with larger touchscreens in spite of the fact it had to give up on smartphones. According to Telsyte during the second half of 2017, there will be 1.7 million tablets sold which represents a 7 per cent increase year-on-year driven by people replacing older devices.
Defining a tablet
For the purposes of research, a tablet is defined as a computing device that has a 7-inch or larger touch screen. The device can be used without a keyboard or mouse. In contrast, a 2-in-1 device comes with a detachable or foldable keyboard. Think Microsoft Surface, iPad Pro or Samsung Galaxy TabPro S.