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Detachable tablets gain popularity, but overall tablet sales down

CIO New Zealand | June 28, 2016
Expect further pressure on the slate market to come from larger screened smartphones, says analyst Chayse Gorton.

IDC New Zealand reports overall shipments of tablets have dropped 1 per cent year on year.

There were 67,000 tablets shipped in the first quarter of 2016, compared to 68,000 during the same period last year, according to IDC NZ's Quarterly Mobile Devices Tracker.

The report, however, finds a "colossal" 142 per cent increase in detachable tablet shipments in January to March this year. These are slate-style tablets that also have a manufacturer provided keyboard designed specifically for the devices.

This, however, was not enough to offset declines in shipments of the older, slate type tablets.

Source: IDC New Zealand

Source: IDC New Zealand

"Many of the biggest NZ tablet vendors including, Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and HP have been switching their focus to developing detachable tablets, which many consumers are adopting over traditional slate tablets, because of the increased productivity benefits they offer," says Chayse Gorton, client device market analyst, IDC New Zealand, in a statement.

"IDC expects further pressure on the slate market to come from larger screened smartphones, which in effect provide users with mini-slates," adds Gorton.

In contrast to the ups and downs of the tablet market, the mobile phone market posted impressive growth rates, says IDC.

This segment has been experiencing a 26 per cent year on year growth in shipments. There were 382,000 compared to the -12 per cent year on year decline in the first quarter of 2015.

Source: IDC New Zealand

Source: IDC New Zealand

IDC New Zealand says the top three mobile phone vendors - Apple, Samsung, and Vodafone - comprise 79 per cent of the total market size.

IDC expects continued growth from these vendors in the short-term, especially with recent product launches and with more expected throughout 2016.

"The double digit growth we are seeing in smartphone shipments is remarkable considering the overall maturity of the mobile device market and the range of dynamics at work," says Gorton.

"Most consumers who were going to make the transition to smartphones have done so already and as a result the smartphone space is edging ever closer to saturation."


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