Australian analyst company Telsyte reports that Windows tablets surged in the Australian market in the second half of 2016, growing 60% Year on Year and taking 27% market share, lifting the overall tablet market, which was 1.64 million units strong, by 2%.
This takes Windows tablets to a close 3rd place to Android, which holds 29% market share, but still far off Apple tablets, which hold a dominant 44%.
iPads were however down 9% YoY, while Android tablets were down 13% suggesting Windows tablets would soon hold second position, and that even Apple’s lead was at risk.
Growth was also led by Convertible 2-in-1 devices across all brands, with 30% of devices being convertible, up from 15% a year earlier.
The move to more powerful devices also led to a “significant” move away from cheaper tablets, which now form only 10% of the market, with 40% of Australians saying they are willing to pay more for “top quality electronics”.
Australians were also happy to buy accessories for their tablets, with 71% buying cases and keyboard-type covers, while sales of pen input or stylus devices featured prominently for owners of 2-in-1 devices.
Telsyte’s Australian Tablet Market Study 2017 found Australian tablet users spend on average two hours per day on their tablets, with primary usage still being at home (over 80 percent). The average time spent on 2-in-1 devices is more than three hours per day and over 30 percent of Australians use them outside of home, suggesting more productivity-focused usage.
In further good news for Microsoft, around 80 percent of ICT decision makers in Australia and New Zealand surveyed by Telsyte indicated that they are already buying or interested in buying larger format touch screen computers such as the Surface Studio and presumably the Surface Hub for their organisation. Currently desktop touch screen PCs are mainly found with creative professionals, businesses, and high-end households rather than the mainstream buyer, Telsyte said.
Hopefully this surge in Windows tablet sales, confirmed by other analysts like the IDC, will lead to a corresponding increase in developer interest in the Windows Store and Windows Store apps, which would make the whole ecosystem more sustainable.