It has been a bumpy road for Windows Tablets but 2015 proved to be the year that Microsoft and its partner OEMs finally got Tablets right, according to a report from Strategy Analytics’ Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies (TTS) service. Windows Tablet shipments have already increased at a 58 per cent annual rate in the first nine months of 2015 and momentum will carry through the holiday season to reach 22 million shipments for the full year, or 10 per cent of the total market.
Android and iOS competitors will not stand still as Windows gains in popularity. Black Friday deals are knocking off at least $100 from iPads, Samsung Galaxy Tabs, and LG G Pads, among many other deals around the industry. Furthermore, Apple has strengthened its position among enterprise and prosumer users with the iPad Pro release this month, opening the Tablet market to even greater penetration of higher-tier prosumers, creatives/artists, and enterprise users.
Windows Tablets will have a more balanced approach than Android’s mass market, low cost appeal, but will nevertheless produce many millions of sub-$150 wholesale ASP Tablets, contributing to growing market share.
Going forward, the success of 2-in-1 Tablets such as the Asus T100, Acer Switch, and the Lenovo Miix 700 and professional grade Slate Tablets such as the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 will introduce more stability for overall ASPs, and providing a path for many Tablet vendors to reap higher profit margins. Premium price tier Tablets will play an important role in the market, particularly in the enterprise market and as PC replacements in general.
Peter King, Research Director, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies service said, “As the enterprise market becomes increasingly open to the wide scale deployment of Tablet platforms, Microsoft has a key advantage in that its operating systems are found on the vast majority of PC and servers within the enterprise, potentially providing a smoother integration of Tablets using the Windows OS into the enterprise. Most, if not all, major vendors will have high to premium tier Windows Tablet offerings by the end of 2016 to address prosumers and enterprise currently served by Microsoft’s Surface Pro line.”