Android tablet sales tumble as more vendors bet on Windows touchscreens

Augmented Reality (AR), 2-in-1s and mobile connectivity set to drive tablet sales

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Tablet sales cooled off during the first half of 2017 with 1.4 million units sold, down 10 per cent from a year ago, according to new research from emerging technology analyst firm Telsyte.


The Telsyte Australian Tablet Computer Market Study 2017-2021 found the decline was mainly due to easing demand for Android-based tablets, but also waning Android support from manufacturers who have given greater focus to Microsoft Windows 10-based touchscreen devices. Android tablet sales declined by 29 per cent compared to the first half of 2016, with many manufactures holding back the release of new Android tablets, including Google which has not released a new Nexus or Pixel tablet in over 12 months.  

Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Lenovo remain the top four tablet manufacturers (by sales) in 1H 2017, and accounted for over 80 per cent of total units sold. Almost half of all tablets sold in Australia are Apple iPads.

Telsyte research shows more Australian consumers are opting for 4G/LTE capable tablets. The Trend will likely continue with the availability of shared data plans, larger mobile data caps and the anticipated arrival of eSIMs on tablets in the near future.

Telsyte’s latest research shows 2-in-1 tablets, or tablets which can be also used as a computing device (with keyboard), continued to go from strength to strength with 2-in-1s accounting for a third of tablet sales in 1H 2017. Windows-based devices from a range of manufacturers have clearly benefited from the merging of PC and tablet features, while demand for the iPad Pro* has also been increasing as Apple positions its top-of-range products as an all-in-one computing device for the average computer or tablet user.

“Microsoft seems to be redeeming itself with larger touchscreens despite losing the smartphone platform battle,” Telsyte Managing Director, Foad Fadaghi, says.

Telsyte estimates tablet sales will pick up with around 1.7 million to be sold in the second half of 2017, an increase of 7 per cent over the same period last year. A return to growth is expected to be driven by consumers replacing aging, unsupported devices or by upgrading to 2-in-1s.

Telsyte expects sales of Windows tablets in Australia to overtake Android by the end of 2017.

Augmented Reality (AR) and aging devices to drive upgrades

Telsyte expects the release of Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore will not only encourage smartphone upgrades, but also start to have positive flow-on effects to tablets sales.

Telsyte believes some AR applications will benefit from a larger display for better viewing and content sharing experiences between families and friends. Consumers identified games and entertainment as the main AR apps they are interested in using on tablets.

According to Telsyte’s research, over 40 per cent of Australian tablet users have already tried AR applications such as Pokémon Go, Layar and AR like features found in social media photo filters. While most Australians intend to use AR mainly on their smartphones, Telsyte research shows more Australian consumers would rather use AR on tablets than on standalone AR headsets or smart glasses.

Telsyte estimates less than 10 per cent of the current iPad user base is capable of running AR apps developed using Apple’s ARKit. Google has provided limited guidance on minimum requirements for running ARCore on Android tablets; however, it is expected that low-end Android tablets will not provide an adequate AR experience, which depends on powerful CPUs and graphics processing chips.

“While AR has been around for a long time, new developer platforms and better hardware will encourage business investment in the next generation of tablet apps,” Telsyte Senior Analyst, Alvin Lee, says. 

For further information on the study or media inquiries contact:

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

Alvin Lee
Senior Analyst
Tel: +61 2 9235 5890
Twitter: @AlvinLee_

About Telsyte’s Australian Tablet Computer Market Study 2017-2021

Tablet definition:  A computer device consisting of a 7 inch or larger touch screen that can be used in a slate format (not requiring keyboard or mouse). Telsyte’s definitions includes 2-in-1 devices with detachable or foldable keyboard, and tabletop, or reclinable desktop screens that provide a tablet form factor experience.

2-in-1 definition: Primarily refers to laptops that have a touch screen and detachable keyboards or foldable form factors 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.

In the 2017 study, Telsyte has provided forecasts for desktop touchscreen computers that can be used in a slate format. Please note this excludes blackboard style devices (e.g. Surface hub), or touchscreen laptops that require keyboard and mouse for operation (Telsyte considers these as laptop computers).

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

Telsyte’s Australian Tablet Computer Market Study 2017-2021 is a comprehensive 118 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:

  • Telsyte’s Mid-Year Smart Device Survey conducted in August 2017 with a representative sample of 1,056 Australian respondents, 16 years of ages and older. And additional 338 Australian respondents, 16 years and older were additionally surveyed to determine smartphones, smart wearables and tablets purchases made between January 1 to June 30 2017.
  • Telsyte’s annual Digital Consumer survey conducted in November 2016 with a representative sample of 1,060 respondents, 16 years and older.
  • Interviews conducted with executives from service providers, network operators, manufacturers, retailers, financial analysts and channel partners.
  • Financial reports released by mobile carriers, service providers, retailers and manufacturers.
  • On-going monitoring of local and global market and vendor trends.
  • Analyst reviews of leading tablet and 2-in-1 devices.

Editor’s note:

Telsyte measures sales of devices (“sell out”), not shipments or sales to retailers or carriers (sometimes called “sell-in”). Telsyte believes this is a more accurate measure of performance of products in a marketplace. Telsyte does not rely on disclosure from vendors or general assumptions made for large multinational companies that do not release local market data. Telsyte uses a comprehensive methodology that includes surveys of consumers, discussions with vendors, carriers and their partners, retailers, and financial analysts. In addition, public financial results from manufacturers and carriers are used.  Telsyte tests a wide range of products in real life usage scenarios and conducts satisfaction and repeat purchase surveys with large and representative samples of Australian smart device users. Telsyte is a pioneer in measuring and reporting tablet sales in Australia and has been providing insights on tablets since 2010.

Please note this study was formerly titled “Australian Media Tablet Market Study”

About Telsyte

Telsyte is Australia’s leading emerging technology analyst firm. Telsyte analysts deliver market research, insights and advisory into enterprise and consumer technologies. Telsyte is an independent business unit of For more information visit

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