Rise of the de­tach­ables

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY -

THE global mar­ket for tablet com­put­ers will see an­other de­cline in 2016, but one bright spot is in de­tach­ables which are gain­ing as PC re­place­ments, re­searchers said.

A re­port by re­search firm IDC said tablet sales world­wide are likely to slip 5.9% this year to 195 mil­lion units, fol­low­ing a drop of 10% in 2015.

But even as the “slate” tablet mar­ket cools from its once red- hot pace, one key growth seg­ment is de­tach­ables, which bodes well for Mi­crosoft and mak­ers of other Win­dows- based devices.

IDC pro­jected a 73% jump in de­tach­able tablet sales this year, and said Win­dows- based de­tach­ables like the Mi­crosoft Sur­face would garner more than half of this seg­ment.

“This mo­men­tous shift in form fac­tor will bring along the first sig­nif­i­cant im­pact of Win­dows- based devices that the tablet mar­ket has seen,” said Ryan Reith, an IDC an­a­lyst.

“Un­til we see a day where touch is in­tro­duced for ( Ap­ple’s) Mac OS X and in­roads are paved to bring An­droid and Chrome more closely aligned, we be­lieve Win­dows re­mains the log­i­cal choice for de­tach­able prod­ucts.”

IDC said it ex­pects global sales of de­tach­able tablets to grow from 16.6 mil­lion ship­ments in 2015 to 63.8 mil­lion in 2020.

“Be­yond the grow­ing de­mand for de­tach­able devices, we’re also wit­ness­ing an in­crease in com­pe­ti­tion within this seg­ment that will help drive de­sign, in­no­va­tion, and a de­cline in av­er­age prices,” said IDC re­search di­rec­tor for tablets, JeanPhilippe Bouchard.

Bouchard said new en­trants like Al­ca­tel and Huawei are com­ing into this seg­ment.

“Ev­ery­one in the in­dus­try recog­nises that tra­di­tional per­sonal com­put­ers like desk­tops and note­books will po­ten­tially be re­placed by de­tach­ables in the com­ing years and this is why we will see a lot of new prod­ucts be­ing in­tro­duced this year,” he said.

IDC said Ap­ple’s de­tach­able tablet, the iPad Pro, would com­mand some 28.5% of the seg­ment in 2016 and An­droid devices 18.2%.

But the fore­cast showed Win­dows­based de­tach­ables would make fur­ther gains to grow from 53% this year more than 74% by 2020.

Break­ing the sur­face: Con­sumers are start­ing to re­place their desk­tops and note­books with tablets with de­tach­able key­boards like the Sur­face Pro.

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