As Global Tablet Market Tumbles, PC Brands Develop Survival Tactics to Cope

Oyster Bay, New York - 20 Jul 2016

Downward trends in tablet shipments, with Apple and Samsung YoY shipments falling from 62% to 54% as the market shrinks, are forcing PC brands to strategize survival tactics for their product portfolios, finds ABI Research. While Amazon and Huawei will focus on tablets despite the dwindling figures, not all vendors share this mentality. Dell and HP, for instance, made the decision to shy away from the tablet market and will instead concentrate on providing 2-in-1 systems based on Windows.

“Amazon and Huawei may successfully buck the trend, but each company is taking a drastically different stance on how to best accomplish this,” says David McQueen, Research Director at ABI Research. “Amazon managed to move away from raising revenue through hardware to recurring digital content sales, but Huawei, and even Lenovo for that matter, are instead looking to form a wider product suite that includes tablets in addition to their legacy PC and smartphone products.”

Xiaomi also plans to follow in Huawei and Lenovo’s footsteps, recently announcing a tie-up with Microsoft to ship Microsoft Office and Skype on Xiaomi’s Android smartphones and tablets. And ABI Research predicts Dell’s and HP’s strategies, though they differ from the former trend, will work since each company is targeting the enterprise upgrade market, an area in which Apple has yet to launch product. 2-in-1 devices are thought to provide a better productivity experience in enterprise, as they offer users the best of both the tablet and laptop worlds. Their full QWERTY hard keyboards, folding form factors, productivity apps, and larger screens fuel their demand in the workforce.

“As tablet hardware continues to decline, vendors that can control software, services, and the ecosystem will win out,” concludes McQueen. “There is still room in the mid-term for shipment growth in areas where the confluence of the tablet and laptop can be exploited to stimulate demand in the growing PC replacement market. Driving this movement will be enhancements in operating systems and improvements to enterprise productivity.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s Media Tablet Market Share Tracker. This report is part of the company’s Wearables & Devices sector, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.

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