Australian tablet sales stabilise as market enters new phase of maturity

Education and enterprise identified as key growth markets

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – A total of 1.65 million tablets were sold in Australia during the second half of 2017, a marginal increase of only 1 per cent from the same period a year ago, according to new research from emerging technology analyst firm Telsyte.



Apple iPad sales bounced back in the second half of 2017 compared to a year ago (up 6%), mainly due to a replacement cycle driven by the new budget-friendly 9.7-inch iPad and an overall increase in interest for the iPad Pro series, which has been positioned as a PC replacement device.

The Telsyte Australian Tablet Computer Market Study 2018 found sales of Android-based tablets continued to disappoint, falling by 16 per cent compared to the second half of 2016. Samsung and Lenovo held their positions as the largest Android tablet vendors in Australia, but other device maker have turned their focus to Windows 10 tablets and 2-in-1s in place of Android.

Telsyte’s latest research shows demand for 2-in-1 tablets - or tablets which can also be used as a computing device (with keyboard) - is approaching mainstream acceptance. 2-in-1 tablets accounted for over 40 per cent of total tablet sales during the second half of 2017*, with the enterprise and BYOD segments driving continued market growth.

Sales of 2-in-1 tablets during the second half of 2017 was still predominantly driven by Windows with more Australians considering Windows 2-in-1 tablets when it comes to upgrading their laptops. Windows 2-in-1 tablet sales increased by 13 per cent in the second half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. During this period overall Windows tablet sales overtook Android tablet sales for the first time.

Telsyte’s latest tablet research found some 35 per cent of tablet users tether to their smartphones while out and about, as the average smartphone data allowance has more than doubled since 2016.

However, Telsyte believes the big driver for mobility and tablets will come from eSIMs.

eSIMs are integrated SIMs in digital devices such as smartphones, wearables, tablets and other Internet connected devices. Devices with eSIMs can be connected to supporting mobile networks without requiring a physical SIM card.

“The early success of eSIM in wearables such as the Apple Watch 3 LTE can potentially extend to tablets, with simplified and more user-friendly setup for mobile connectivity”, Telsyte Senior Analyst, Alvin Lee says.

eSims have the potential to rejuvenate tablet computer sales as around 1 in 3 tablet and laptop owners show an interest in connecting to mobile networks directly if their device had an eSim that was easy to connect.

Growth in the tablet using audience (or installed based of users) has started to show signs of peaking, with more than 15 million Australians having access to a tablet at the end of 2017. This was up only around 200,000 people over 2016. The Windows tablet audience is expected to surpass Android during 2018.

Telsyte has identified education and enterprise as key growth segments for tablet sales in the next 12 to 24 months.

According to Telsyte’s latest research, tablets remained a critical channel for delivering children’s content, with 4 in 10 parents that own a tablet sharing it with their children. In addition, Telsyte research shows children who use tablets spend up to 2 hours per day on their device.


For further information on the study or media inquiries contact:

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

About Telsyte’s Australian Tablet Computer Market Study 2018

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 Book, HP Spectre x360, Asus Chromebook Flip 2, or Lenovo Yoga 730.

[*] 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 2018 is a comprehensive 74 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.

  • Tablet audience estimates.

In preparing this study, Telsyte used:

  • Telsyte’s annual Digital Consumer survey conducted in November 2017 with a representative sample of 1,162 respondents, 16 years and older, and follow-up survey conducted in January 2018 with a representative sample of 1,178, 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.

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 tablet device 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

The material in this article is copyright protected and not intended to be altered, copied, distributed or used for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, except for news reporting, comment, criticism, teaching and scholarship.