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Windows to dominate detachable tablet market

Demand for detachable tablets is set to bolster Windows standing in the tablet market, with Windows devices expected to dominate the detachable market come 2020.

IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker forecast says detachable tablets will make up  30% of the tablet market by 2020, with the popularity of the hybrid devices helping the tablet market back into positive growth next year.

IDC says while worldwide tablet shipments are forecast to drop 5.9% to 195 million units this year, the market will return to positive growth – albeit single digit growth – after 2016.

The research house says the growth will be driven by growing demand for detachable devices which bring together slate tablets and PCs.

IDC is forecasting the detachable market to grow from 16.6 million shipments in 2015 to 63.8 million in 2020. That growth will see detachables jump from being 8% of the overall tablet market in 2015 to 30% in 2020.

Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC research director for tablets, says as well as growing demand for detachable devices, IDC is witnessing an increase in competition in the segment, helping drive design, innovation and a decline in average prices.

"At the latest Mobile World Congress, we saw new entrants, like Alcatel and Huawei, coming from the mobile space and expanding their portfolio to address the demand for detachables,” Bouchard says.

“Everyone in the industry recognises that traditional personal computers like desktops and notebooks will potentially be replaced by detachables in the coming years and this is why we will see a lot of new products being introduced this year."

The change in form factor will bring additional changes to the tablet industry, IDC says, with growth expected in larger screen sizes of nine-inches and above and Microsoft-based devices gaining traction and taking share from other devices – most notably Android.

IDC is forecasting Android devices to hold 18.1% of the detachable tablet market come 2020, down from 18.2% forecast for 2016, with iOS accounting for just 7.3% - a huge drop from the 28.5% forecast for iOS in 2016.

Windows devices, meanwhile, are forecast to jump to 74.6% marketshare come 2020, up from 53.3% in 2016.

Ryan Reith, program director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers, says Windows 10 seems to be making headway in the PC and tablet markets, driven largely by devices with larger screen sizes.

“Despite the free licensing on products under nine-inches, the growth for Windows-based tablets will be primarily on devices with displays between nine and 13 inches,” Reith says.

“Until we see a day where touch is introduced for Mac OS X and inroads are paved to bring Android and Chrome more closely aligned, we believe Windows remains the logical choice for detachable products."

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