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Why tablet sales slumped and what’s going to bring the market back to life

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The Australian tablet market has dropped for the second year in a row but its due for a resurgence in 2016 with Microsoft and Apple fighting for the top spot with high end devices.

The Telsyte Australia Tablet Market Study 2016 has revealed tablet sales in 2015 reached 3.1 million units.

That’s down from the 3.8 million devices sold in 2014.

But despite this 18 per cent downturn, Telsyte says the market is set to pick up dramatically as customers look to higher end tablets that have the power and versatility of a laptop.

And even though there were less units sold in 2015, the tablet segment actually saw a 2 per cent increase in revenue due to price increases and the movement towards more premium products.

Microsoft's popular Surface Pro 4
Microsoft’s popular Surface Pro 4

From 2014 to 2015 – Apple’s dominance in the tablet market has increased from a 47 per cent share to 48.7 per cent while Microsoft share almost doubled from 8.2 per cent in 2014 to 15.6 per cent in 2015.

The market share of Android tablets, on the other hand, actually shrunk from 44.8 per cent in 2014 to 35.7 per cent in 2015.

The sub-premium tablets – those priced below $450 – made up nearly half (48 per cent) of the market in 2014, dropping to 35 per cent in 2015 and projected to drop to 26 per cent in 2016.

Telsyte puts this downward trend down the take up of phablets – larger screen smartphones.

tablet16sales1

Microsoft’s surge is the result of its powerful Surface Pro tablets running Windows 10.

Samsung, the dominant Android tablet and smartphone manufacturer, has also entered the Windows 10 tablet market with its recently released Galaxy TabPro S device.

And Apple’s new iPad Pro tablets – now available in 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch models – are also hugely popular.

Apple's popular iPad Pro - 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch models
Apple’s popular iPad Pro – 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch models

Telsyte says the Android tablet market penetration is being held back by the lack of a “hero” device as customers look for a device that offers more capabilities than a plain tablet.