Strategy Analytics: “Tablet market continue to shift away from Android toward Windows”

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Strategy Analytics reports that Windows tablet shipments grew 25%  Year on Year to reach 16% market share.

Windows tablets was the only category which saw growth, rising to 7.3 million units in Q3 2016, from 5.8 million in Q3 2015.

In turn iOS shipments fell 6% YoY from 9.9 to 9.3 million devices, while Android tablets fell 17% from 36 million to 30.1 million due to pressure from Windows devices.

Strategy Analytics note the tablet market continue to shift away from Android toward Windows as tablets transform from pure entertainment devices to everyday computing devices capable of completing most tasks for consumers. Business use cases for tablets are multiplying too, as mobility becomes more important and touch eases its way into workflows.

Even Apple benefitted from the shift, with their average sale price (ASP) rising 6% to $459 as their market also shifted towards Pro device.

At 17% Windows tablets were now close to overtaking iOS market share, which now sits at 20%. The market itself contracted 10% YoY, but ASPs are up 7% due to more 2-in-1 tablets.

Peter King, Service Director, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies service said, “Microsoft has led a transformation in the tablet market with its Surface Pro and Surface Book. Apple is now reliant on iPad Pro for tablet and laptop replacement, while many other PC OEMs abandon Android Slates in favor of more expensive 2-in-1 Windows Tablets for better productivity and versatility.”

Eric Smith, Senior Analyst, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies service added, “Even as strong 2-in-1 Tablet demand contributes to rising ASPs, prices are falling for these devices into a sweet spot where consumers can now justify replacing one or more computing devices with a single 2-in-1 Tablet. The wave of growth we expect in the next several years is based on this trend as well as hastened adoption among enterprises over the next several years.”

Microsoft’s own Surface revenue increased 38% YoY in the last quarter, though Strategy Analytics numbers suggest that Microsoft still sold less than 2 million devices, and that much of the Windows tablet success was due to OEMs. Windows’s success in the market suggests another route towards expanding the UWP ecosystem even in the absence of Windows phones, which is expected to have sold a small fraction of the number of Windows tablets sold.

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