Telsyte forecasts around 1.5 million tablets will be sold in the second half of 2019 - a decrease of 5% on the same period last year – and expects similar trends to continue into 2020 due to prolonging replacement cycles, and other devices such as 5G smartphones and wearables taking a greater share of consumer electronics spending.
But, according to Telsyte, the continued improvement of wireless connectivity such as 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and eSIMs, are expected to drive future tablet upgrades.
Currently there are around 10 tablets and 2-in-1s with eSIM support from manufacturers such as Apple, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft and Samsung, and Telsyte anticipates this will increase substantially over the next 24 months.
“Mobile connected 2-in-1s are ripe for growth in the coming years as carriers look to increase network utilisation beyond smartphones”, says Telsyte Senior Analyst, Alvin Lee.
Telsyte notes that the Australian tablet market continues to transition towards 2-in-1s or computers that can either function as a slate or traditional laptop form factor.
The Telsyte Tablet Computer Market Study 2019-2023 also found that Apple remained the leader in tablet sales share (iOS 53.4%, Windows 27.4%, Android 17.6%, and others: 1.6%) - with sales of Apple and Windows-based tablets both increasing (5% and 3% respectively) in the first half of 2019 due to iPad mini upgrades and growing demand for 2-in-1s.
And sales of Android tablets were down 28% over the same period, while the top three vendors during the period remained Apple, Samsung and Microsoft.
Telsyte’s study found that sales of the smaller 8-inch tablet form factor saw a “mini boom” in the first half of the year (up 16% from 1H18) due to the release of 2019 iPad mini, which was last released in September 2015.
On the other end of the spectrum, Telsyte says interest in high-end 2-in-1s has increased the average cost of tablets by 17 percent (to over $800) from a year ago.
And according to Telsyte, the overall tablet computer category will likely experience modest demand in the second half of 2019 through to 2020.
The 2-in-1 category is expected to continue growing as manufacturers position their products as replacements for PCs and focus on the business and education sectors, Telsyte forecasts.
Telsyte’s study also found nearly 4 million (3.9m) Australians are now using a 2-in-1. While Windows still dominates with 65 per cent share, Telsyte expects the share of 2-in-1 iPads to increase with the expanded range of new iPads which support Apple’s ‘Smart Keyboard’.
Furthermore, the new iPadOS brings iPad closer to a complete “PC-Like experience”, with better multitasking and external hardware and network support features, Telsyte notes.
“The slate-only format is rapidly being replaced by 2-in-1s as Australians seek to replace older laptops and tablets with converged touchscreen devices with keyboards,” Telsyte Senior Analyst, Alvin Lee says.