Australian tablet sales bounce back as new higher end PC replacement devices enter the market

Unit sales grow for first time in two years off the back of convertible ‘2-in-1’s

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Sales of tablet devices in Australia grew 4 per cent year-on-year to 1.59 million units in the first half of 2016, according to a new study from emerging technology analyst firm Telsyte.

The Telsyte Australian Media Tablet Market Study 2016-2020 shows the market for tablets has stablised and recorded modest growth for the first time (half-on-half) since 2014.

As predicted by Telsyte in March 2016, higher end convertible tablet-notebook devices (including Apple’s iPad Pro, Microsoft’s Surface and the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S) have seen growing adoption and have now halted the decline in unit sales after the market took a battering following a collapse in sub-premium devices in 2014.

The top four vendors in H1, 2016 were Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Lenovo – which collectively sold 80 per cent of units.

The market is on track to record sales of 3.21 million units by the end of the year, as consumers start to replace ageing tablets and computers with newer, more functional touch screen devices.

“The decline in tablet sales that began in 2014 has stabilised and the market seems to have started to turn a corner,” Telsyte Managing Director, Foad Fadaghi, says.

Revenue from the market is the highest it has been since the slump in H1 2014. Sales are up 33 per cent on H1 2015 as the market starts to embrace more expensive 2-in-1 devices rather than lower-end, slate-only formats. 

Despite a fall in market share, Telsyte believes Apple will retain its market leadership in the next 2 years as consumers replace ageing iPads. Apple continues to enjoy a repeat purchase intention rate of 80 per cent, according to Telsyte research, and many of the top selling iPad models from a few years ago are now unsupported, such as the third generation iPad (released in March 2012) and the iPad 2 (released in March 2011). These devices are no longer capable of loading the latest iOS 10 operating system.

Convertible 2-in-1s set the pace

Telsyte end-user research shows that 1 in 5 tablet users have already tried using their tablet with a keyboard (as a 2-in-1) including buying an aftermarket keyboard (or combination case/keyboard). Of these, nearly three quarters continue using a keyboard with their tablet regularly. The rise of 2-in-1s is expected to also drive demand for other tablet accessories, such as protective covers, styluses and port extensions and adapters.

One in five (21%) tablets sold in H1, 2016 were Windows-based devices, indicating a growing trend which has been driven by Microsoft-branded tablets. Microsoft retains leadership in the Windows 2-in-1 category according to Telsyte’s latest findings[1].

Similarly, over 20 per cent of devices sold had screens above 10-inches, indicating a shift to using tablet devices for more than just portable content consumption.

"Telsyte believes sales of Windows-based tablets should exceed Android-based unit sales within the next 18 months,” Fadaghi says.

Telsyte also notes that Android tablet sales might also be impacted by the Samsung Note 7 recall and eventual withdrawal, despite the Note 7 not being in the tablet category.

Telsyte’s tablet study includes estimates of computer purchase intentions, as the tablet and computer market increasingly merge. Findings show that a PC replacement cycle is due with more than 700 thousand PCs and Macs (without touchscreens) are expected to be sold in the second half of 2016 with around 12 per cent of these units being Apple computers.

Telsyte figures show that 15.1 million Australians have now got access to a tablet device or almost two thirds of people across all age groups.

For further information on the study or media inquiries contact:

Foad Fadaghi
Managing Director
Tel: +61 2 9235 5851
Twitter: @foadfadaghi

About Telsyte’s Australian Media Tablet Market Study 2016-2020

Media Tablet definition:  A computer device consisting of a 7 to 14 inch touch screen, including 2-in-1 devices with detachable or foldable keyboards that provide a tablet form factor experience.

2-in-1 definition: Primarily refer to laptops that have a touch screen and detachable keyboards or foldable form factor to provide a pure tablet-like experience. Tablets that are known for their versatility and mimic laptop-like experience with keyboards or type covers are also considered as 2-in-1s. E.g. Microsoft Surface tablets, iPad Pro, Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, Google Pixel C, Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet, Toshiba Portege Z20t, or Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro.

[1] Please note Telsyte measures Apple iPad Pro models as 2-in-1s for comparison reasons, due to having a specifically designed Apple keyboard, typically sold together.

Telsyte’s Australian Media Tablet Market Study 2016-2020 is a comprehensive 103 page report which provides subscribers with:

  •    Market sizing, platform and vendor market shares and forecasts
  •    End user trends across devices, usage, platforms and accessories
  •    Tablet and computer purchase intentions and loyalty
  •    Product reviews and insights
  •    Tablet audience estimates and strategies for media companies

In preparing this study, Telsyte used:

  •    An online survey of a representative sample of Australians 16+ years of age conducted with 1,097 respondents in July 2016. An additional 394 Australian respondents, 16 years of age and older were surveyed to specifically determine smartphone, smart wearables and tablet purchases made between January 1 2016 to June 30 2016
  •    Financial reports released by mobile carriers, manufacturers and service providers.
  •    Interviews conducted with executives from mobile operators, vendors, retailers, and channel partners.
  •    On-going monitoring of local and global market and vendor trends.

About Telsyte

Telsyte delivers strategic insights and advisory services to businesses that are producing, or are impacted by, disruptive technologies. Telsyte publishes studies into emerging consumer and business markets and provides custom research and advisory services. Telsyte is an independent business unit of DXC Technology .

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