Commercial tablet and 2-in-1 expansion accelerates in Western Europe
According to figures published by IDC, the overall tablet market in Western Europe remained challenged in the first quarter of 2015, declining 10.5% on year with shipments totaling 8.5 million units. The contraction, however, was mainly the result of sluggish consumer demand as the expansion of tablets in the commercial space accelerates with volumes increasing 51.3% from the same period in 2014.
In terms of product category, the share of 2-in-1s, albeit growing, remains in single-digit territory at 5.9%. Nevertheless, the popularity of these devices continued to increase among consumers as well as enterprises, driving shipments up 44.4%.
Extended device life cycles and competition from smartphones with large screen sizes (phablets) as well as portable PCs at attractive price points diverted end-user budgets and attention.
“In the absence of major product launches, the beginning of 2015 failed to stimulate stronger consumer demand,” said Chrystelle Labesque, research manager, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. “Growth opportunity, however, clearly continues to come from enterprises and professional segments. Vendors have significantly expanded their product portfolio with devices optimized for business usage. Demand for 2-in-1 devices is gathering momentum driven by improved hardware offers as well as adjusted price points that are attracting private users as well as professionals.”
Although 2015 started off disappointingly for the tablet market, IDC expects the negative trend to be reversed in the coming quarters thanks to innovation and renewals as existing devices reach the end of their life cycle. Increasing adoption of tablets and 2-in-1s for commercial purposes is also expected to improve the outlook, confirming the findings of IDC’s latest survey of tablets in enterprises.
“Tablet usage for professional purposes is a reality,” said Marta Fiorentini, senior research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. “Deployment is no longer limited to a few early adopting countries or businesses. Adoption is far from being mainstream but we now see companies of all sizes choosing tablets and 2-in-1s to support their normal business activities.
The UK, France, Germany, and Northern Europe countries remain at the forefront of this trend as tablet adoption has become part of mobility and digital strategies in the private as much as public sector. For now, adoption in other Western European countries tends to be limited to occasional deals rather than being part of an overall approach, but interest is clearly increasing and is anticipated to materialize into additional deployments.