Long-time rivals battle for tablet supremacy, as 2-in-1s blur the line between PC and tablet


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – The Australian tablet market is entering a new phase of competition with Apple and Microsoft set to battle it out for touch screen device dominance, according to a new study from emerging technology analyst firm Telsyte.

In its sixth year, the Telsyte Australian Media Tablet Market Study 2016 found that 3.1 million tablet devices were sold in 2015, down from 3.8 million in 2014. Despite a second year of decline, Telsyte believes the market is set to grow again in 2016 as consumer appetite shifts to higher end 2-in-1 (computer and tablet) devices.

With the number of units sold dropping by 18 per cent in 2015, industry revenues grew by 2 per cent due to price rises, and a growing preference for premium products with a higher average sale price.

Sub-premium tablets, or those priced below $450, made up 48 per cent of sales in 2014 but only 35 per cent in 2015. This share is expected to fall to 26 per cent in 2016 as consumers embrace higher-end models.

“The impact of phablets, or larger smartphones, has been mostly towards lower cost smaller screen tablets,” Telsyte senior analyst Alvin Lee says.

The sales share of Windows-based tablets almost doubled in 2015 from 2014; however, the rise of Windows as a tablet platform was not yet enough to offset the overall market decline.

After a slow start Microsoft is now realising the tablet opportunity, producing its own Surface branded devices, but also shipping on Windows devices from Samsung (the dominant Android smartphone and tablet vendor) and traditional partners such as Dell and Lenovo.

Telsyte Senior Analyst Alvin Lee says Android’s volume strategy is uncertain, and the lack of a “hero” device from Google or other vendors is holding back Android’s tablet potential.

Early 2-in-1 buyers more business focused

Early adopters of 2-in-1 tablets are more likely to be business professionals and career driven, according to Telsyte’s technology buyer research.

The study found 2-in-1 users are twice as likely to “keep up to date with technology developments”, twice as likely to “have used the Internet to share their creativity” and 1.6 times more likely to “want to get to the very top of their career”, than the average Australian (aged over 16).

Telsyte’s Enterprise IT research indicates nearly half of Australian businesses allow BYOD (Bring your own device) in the workplace, including tablet and notebook devices.

Australia’s leading tablets reviewed

For the first time, Telsyte is releasing its analyst device reviews based on real world testing and analysis of components, application environments, business and consumer features, price, channels to market, design and several other factors. The ratings are considered from a tablet user perspective and some of the results are as follows:

Tablets reviewed Telsyte rating Operating system Reviewed with keyboard Assessment
Acer Aspire R14 3 stars Windows Foldable design Size and weight are not ideal as a 2-in-1 tablet. Does not have the common bezel-less design.
Apple iPad Pro (12.9 inch) 4.5 stars iOS Smart Keyboard A premium device with a premium price tag.
Apple iPad Pro (9.7 inch) 5 stars iOS Smart Keyboard An upgrade from the existing 10 inch iPad range.
Apple iPad mini 4 4 stars iOS No Lower specs compared to the iPad Pro range.
Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi 3.5 stars Windows Detachable keyboard Lower specs and has no full-size USB ports.
Dell Inspiron 11 3.5 stars Windows Foldable design Non-detachable screen and lower specs.
Google Nexus 9 4 stars Android No Priced at premium compared to previous models.
Google Pixel C 3.5 stars Android Pixel C Keyboard Lack of optimised apps for the 2-in-1 form factor.
HP Spectre X2 4 stars Windows Detachable keyboard Missing HDMI port or USB 3.0 ports for business user.
Lenovo Yoga 900 4 stars Windows Foldable design Foldable design adds bulk when using in tablet form.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 4.5 stars Windows Keyboard cover A high-end device but pricey.
Microsoft Surface Book 4.5 stars Windows Detachable keyboard A premium device but it is heavy.
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S 4.5 stars Windows Keyboard cover Lack of external ports (only one USB-Type C) requires further investment in peripherals.
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet 4 stars Android Detachable keyboard Detachable keyboard needs charging separately.
Toshiba Portege Z20T 3.5 stars Windows Detachable keyboard Does not have a slim form factor as others have in standalone tablet mode.
Telsyte rating Description
1 star Basic
2 stars Below average
3 stars Mid-range
4 stars Strong challenger
5 stars Advanced product

For further information on the study or media inquiries contact:

Foad Fadaghi, Managing Director, Tel: +612 9235 5851, ffadaghi@telsyte.com.au or
Alvin Lee, Senior Analyst, Tel: +612 9235 5890, alee@telsyte.com.au

About Telsyte’s Australian Media Tablet Market Study 2016

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

  • Tablet market sizing, platform and vendor market shares and forecasts

  • End user trends across devices, services and mobile media

  • Purchase intentions

  • Product reviews and insights

  • Tablet audience estimates for media companies

In preparing this study, Telsyte used:

  • Financial reports released by mobile carriers, manufacturers, retailers and other service providers.

  • Interviews conducted with executives from manufacturers, retailers, media companies and channel partners.

  • An online survey of a representative sample of Australians 16+ years of age conducted with 1,077 respondents in July 2015.

  • An online survey of a representative sample of Australians 16+ years of age conducted with 1,075 respondents in November 2015.

  • On-going monitoring of local and global market and vendor trends.

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