IDC finds Western Europe purchased 190% more Surface-style devices in Q1 2016


Consumers are responding to the industry push for the Surface-style form-factor, the IDC reports in their latest roundup of the tablet and PC market in Western Europe.

In their press release titled “Convertible and Detachable Devices Winning Over Consumers in Western Europe, Says IDC” they reveal that consumers have purchased 190.2% more detachable devices in Q1 2016 vs Q1 2015, rising from half a million to around 1.5 million devices. IDC defines “detachable devices” as a device “designed to function as a standalone slate/tablet as well as a clamshell device through the addition of a physical detachable keyboard, specifically designed for the given tablet.” There are what were previously called 2:1 devices which Apple CEO Tim Cook famously called a toaster-refrigerator before emulating it himself with their new iPad Pro line.

Convertibles, such a the Lenovo Yoga and HP Spectre series also saw a 12% increase in adoption, which is particularly significant given that the PC market itself saw a 12.9% slump in sales.

The sales of both detachable and convertible devices were both driven by consumer demand, though business adoption was also increasing.

The IDC wrote:

“Customers are looking for solutions that allow for flexibility,” said Andrea Minonne, research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. “We want to access information, create content, or communicate without constraints. Addressing such market demand represents an opportunity for IT vendors. Convertible notebooks and detachables are the most suitable device to guarantee functionality and mobility at the same time. Both form factors have been well received in the market and have gained momentum across Western Europe.

“Adoption among business users is only just starting,” said Marta Fiorentini, research manager, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. “We expect an acceleration in detachable deployments in the coming months as companies evaluate the new and more powerful commercial designs that have recently been introduced. Interest from enterprises is clear and this form factor seems to be a perfect fit with their mobility strategies. In some countries, we also see detachable deployments taking place in the public sector, which is usually more traditional in its form factor choices and often challenged by budget constraints.”

Due to the Surface range and devices by other OEMs Windows now held 13% tablet market share in Europe. This is up from 8.4% in Q1 2015 and 4.9% in Q1 2014.

The news suggests Microsoft will likely make the transition to a more flexible and touch-centric computing paradigm which engages consumers more, which is of course good news for the future of the Windows OS and the success of the Windows Store.

Read the full report here.