The FINANCIAL — The Australian market for tablet and 2-in-1 took a massive hit in the first quarter of 2015. However, signs of life can still be found in a disappointing quarter.
International Data Corporation (IDC) found 2015Q1 shipments of tablets and 2-in-1s totalled 770,752 units in Australia; this represents a 40% QoQ decline. Whilst a seasonal slump in Q1 is customary, the magnitude of this decline is steeper than expected. Shipment decline of 25% YoY further reinforced the reality of a slow-down in demand for this product category.
However, drilling down into the segments reveals some positive signs. Whilst consumer shipments declined by 27% YoY, commercial shipments increased by a modest 1.2% YoY. Mobile work-force such as field-police and hospital doctors can experience significant productivity benefit from using mobile devices. Tasmania police’s pilot of Acer Iconia (2-in-1) is an testimony to this statement. A total of 37 devices managed to save the police force 280 hours and $2,600 over a period of six weeks.
Popularity of tablets and 2-in-1s is not restricted to the mobile workforce alone. Enterprise adoption of Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has gained traction in 2015Q1. Growth potential for small businesses are also high due to the recent Federal budget announcement. Asset tax write-off threshold increased from $1,000 to $20,000, which expands the wallet-size of the small business buyer. Although purchase is not restricted to technology, increased affordability and utility of mobile devices may drive uptake.
“Opportunities that exist in the enterprise market are real and growing. The high-profile partnership between Apple and IBM is a strategic move to capture a slice of this pie. Android for Work is Google’s attempt to break into the enterprise market. On top of that, there is the incumbent player Microsoft and their soon-to-be-released Windows 10. It will be interesting to see how the play unveils.” Joseph Hsiao, Market Analyst at IDC Australia.
Apple and Samsung still dominate the Australian tablet market with a combined market share of over 75%. Local vendor Pendo is struggling to sustain its outstanding performance from 2H14, as competition is fierce in the low-price range devices.