Australian Tablet sales flat as replacement cycles grow beyond 3 years

Converged ‘smart displays’ create new opportunities


 Tuesday, February 26th 2019

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Australian tablet sales fell in the past six months due to a continued decline in the Android market and a slowing in growth of the maturing 2-in-1 segment, according to new research from Australian emerging technology analyst firm, Telsyte.

Telsyte estimates around 1.6 million tablets were sold in the second half of 2018, down 2.1 per cent from the same period a year earlier. Apple remained the leader in tablet sales share (iOS: 49.6%, Windows: 29.9%, Android: 19.3%, and Chrome: 1.2%) with the new iPad 9.7 inch (2018) once again the most popular model due to its price point, which appealed to upgraders.

Chart for tablet 2019 press release.PNG

Both Apple (up 5.1%) and Windows-based (up 2.1%) devices experience growth during the half, but the big mover was Android-based devices, with sales down 21 per cent.

 The top three vendors were Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft, with combined shares accounting for more than 75 per cent of total sales during the half.

 Apple remained the leader in repeat purchase intention in the tablet category, followed by Samsung (more than 80% and 50% respectively).

 Telsyte research found the 2-in-1 device category has passed its early growth phase with around 3.5 million Australians now using one, of which more than 70 per cent are Windows-based.*

 Tablet sales are expected to continue to face challenges due to longer overall replacement cycles as consumers hold onto their chosen device longer. The average replacement cycle of tablets has increased to around 3.1 years (up 0.6 years from 2017), a faster rate compared to smartphones, according to Telsyte research.

 Telsyte estimates around 15.7 million Australians had access to a tablet at the end of 2018 making it a highly mature segment.

 While Australians are replacing their tablets less frequently, tablet users are still spending around two hours per day on their slate devices, which is similar to previous years.

 With technologies such as 5G, eSIMs and larger shared mobile data plans, there is still huge potential for more connected tablets and 2-in-1s to be realised.

 Telsyte estimates around two million tablets were connected to mobile networks at the end of 2018.

 “The arrival of 5G will likely spur further interest for connected tablets, potentially amongst gamers due to lower latency,” Telsyte Senior Analyst, Alvin Lee, says.

 Gaming one of the key cornerstones driving tablet usage

 Interactive gaming is a critical application for tablets according to Telsyte research, and interactive gaming on tablets will continue to fuel tablet replacements and upgrades, as well as more spending on the Android and Apple app stores in 2019.

 Telsyte research has consistently shown more than half of app revenue comes from games.

 Furthermore, the mobile market is ripe for a gaming subscription service (i.e. “the Netflix for games”) due to strong growth in free-to-play (with in-game purchases) and casual players.

 Some two million Australians spent money on tablet games in 2018, of which around half made in-game purchases for free-to-play games such as Fortnite, Pokémon Go and Clash of Clans.

 In addition to interactive gaming, education is expected to be another key segment driving tablet usage in Australia.

 Telsyte research found more than 60 per cent of children (under 18) had access to a tablet at the end of 2018. Among children with access to a tablet, the majority (81%) are using it at least a few times a week, averaging two hours a day.

 “More cost effective 2-in-1 devices designed for the education market are likely to be popular in coming years,” Lee says.

 Converging tablet and smart speakers a new opportunity

 Telsyte research indicates the fast-growing smart speaker market presents opportunities for tablet vendors tapping into the growing IoT@Home (smart home) market.

 Telsyte estimate that 16 per cent (1.6 million) of households were using at least one smart speaker at the end of 2018. Among these households a growing share (currently below 5%) are using smart speakers with displays (also known as smart displays), such as Google Home Hub, Amazon Echo Spot and Lenovo Smart Display.

 While Australians are increasingly comfortable with voice commands, additional touch interfaces will help with navigation for more advanced smart home applications and for visual information display.

 Australians have been using their tablets as rudimentary ‘smart displays’, such as for reading recipes and playing videos in the kitchen.

 Telsyte estimates up to 40 per cent of smart speakers sold could have a display within the next two years as the categories converge.

  For further information on the study or media enquiries contact:

Foad Fadaghi
Managing Director
Tel: +61 2 9235 5851

Alvin Lee
Senior Analyst
Tel: +61 2 9235 5890

 The Telsyte Tablet Computer Market Study 2019 is a comprehensive study which provides subscribers with:

  •  Market sizing, platform and vendor market shares and forecasts

  • End user trends across devices, application usage, platforms, channels and accessories

  • Tablet and computer purchase intentions and loyalty

  • Tablet audience estimates

  • Strategic analysis of market trends and issues

In preparing this study, Telsyte used:

  • An online survey conducted in November and December 2018 with a representative sample of 1,025 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 service providers and manufacturers.

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

  • Analyst reviews of leading tablet devices.

Editor’s note:
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, apple 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 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 smart device sales in Australia and has been providing insights on mobile technologies since 2006.

 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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