Experts are predicting the tablet market will pick up in 2018, as consumers further embrace the detachable sector, and the Internet of Things sees more people utilize tablets as their go-to device.
It comes amidst rumors that “garden variety” iPads could become more affordable, while the popular Microsoft Surface Pro could be in for a revamp.
So, let’s investigate the world of tablets in 2018…
A growing detachable market
Recent years has seen a growing market for detachable-style tablets, as major tablet retailers vie to be everything to everyone. The popularity is fueled by the convenience of the Cloud that sees applications and storage widely available.
IDC notes the rising take-up of detachable tablets will continue in 2018 right through to 2020.
"The benefits of a thin and light design combined with a touchscreen are bolstering growth in the detachable tablet market, but are also bleeding over into the PC market as slim and convertible-type notebooks gain popularity," IDC notes.
"This is a welcome change for vendors as average selling prices for notebooks and tablets are expected to increase in the near term."
Slates still popular
While detachable tablets are gaining a market share, slates will still have their place.
This is partly due to the budget options available and the role they play in a growing Internet of Things ecosystem. In fact, IDC tips slate tablets will account for “more than twice the volume of the detachable segment with 124 million units forecast to be shipped in 2020”.
Size matters more than ever as tablets are applied to new tasks like working on-the-go, controlling the smart home or accessing entertainment.
In 2015, smaller-sized screens took the lion’s share (59.9%) of the tablet market, but IDC notes that trend has shifted. They predict 2018 will see further adoption of medium sized tablets between 9 and 13 inches, with this size comprising 58.2 per cent of the market by 2020.
That’s good news for Apple and their iPads which sit squarely within this range.
While we’re talking iPads, there’s forecast changes afoot in the Apple camp. Tech Radar predicts 2018 will see the garden variety iPad become even more accessible to the average consumer as it reduces its purchase price by 20%.
That means the 9.7-inch model could now retail for US$259. They argue this would even out the other end of the spectrum where the popular, yet expensive, Pros look set to take on some of the features of the iPhone X.
Tech Radar tips the next generation Pros that may be released in 2018 will see a rethink of the iPad range and include FaceID, a faster more powerful A11X chip and a slim look.
Surface Pro 5
In the Microsoft corner, their top of the range Surface Pro line may also see some refinements. Although MS released an upgraded Pro in 2017, next year might see some more significant changes. Exerts hope this includes fingerprint recognition, a sharper, larger screen, the addition of a USB Type-C port and longer battery life.
All these confirm IDC’s prediction that the detachable laptop with work-on-the-go capabilities are set to continue their infiltration of the tablet market while also impacting the laptop world.
Now it remains to be seen whether other brands can touch iPad and Surface Pro’s share of the top-end realm.