Tablet sales fall 10% as Android sales tumble
Australian tablet sales shrank 10% year on year in the first half of 2017 to 1.4 million units, with a steep decline in demand for Android tablets largely to blame, according to Telsyte.
Android tablet sales fell 29% over a year ago due in part to the lack of flagship new products, with Google itself having not released a new Nexus or Pixel tablet for over 12 months.
But the decline was also attributed to a shift in support among manufacturers away from Android and towards Windows 10-based touchscreen devices, Telsyte said.
Windows’ share of the tablet market reached 22% in the first half, compared to 29% for Android, and Telsyte expects Windows tablet sales to overtake those of Android tablets by the end of the year.
Apple’s iPad meanwhile remained the clear leader with a 49% share of the total market. Demand for the iPad Pro has been increasing as Apple markets its top-of-the-range products as all-in-one computing devices for the average user.
Telsyte predicts that the overall tablet market will pick up in the second half of the year with around 1.7 million tablets sold — a year-on-year increase of 7%.
Demand for upgrades is expected to be driven by the increasing popularity of 2-in-1 tablet/notebook hybrids, as well as the release of advanced augmented reality (AR) APIs from both Apple and Google.
“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 said.
He said the company’s research shows that while most Australians intend to use AR mainly on their smartphones, more consumers would prefer to use AR on tablets than on standalone AR headsets or smart glasses.
Meanwhile, less than 10% of the current iPad user base are thought to be capable of running AR apps developed using the Apple ARKit, and low-end Android tablets are expected to provide an inadequate AR experience compared to those with more powerful CPUs and graphics processing kits.
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