Australians are buying more high-end tablets

Alex Kidman 25 October 2016

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The local tablet computer market has seen its first growth in a long time, on the back of newer higher-end tablet and 2-in-1 computers.

While Apple didn’t invent tablet computing, it’s widely accepted that it popularised the concept of a tablet PC, even though when the first iPad launched, many wondered if there was a market at all for what many derided as an "oversized iPod Touch".

The tablet market exploded from there, but locally sales figures had been somewhat stagnant since those first waves of hype around the technology. That’s most likely due to the fact that we just don’t break, lose or replace tablets at the same rate as smartphones. However, recent figures from Telsyte suggest that we’re once again falling in love with the tablet, thanks to the emergence of premium-priced, feature-packed tablets.

Telsyte’s latest study, The Telsyte Australian Media Tablet Market Study 2016-2020 suggests that some 3.21 million tablet-style computers will be sold in Australia this year, led by Apple, and then Samsung, Microsoft and Lenovo in terms of market share. Between them, those four companies account for 80 percent of sales. What’s leading the sales and reversing what had been something of a slump in sales are those premium tablets, such as Apple’s iPad Pro, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and Samsung’s Galaxy TabPro S.

It seems we’re starting to deck out our tablets with more and more in the way of peripherals, especially keyboards. Telstye’s research found that 20% of tablet users have tried using a keyboard with their tablet, and of that group, nearly 75% continue to use a keyboard once they’ve first tried it.

So who is winning the tablet war? Telsyte suggests that Apple will retain a lead due to customers replacing much older iPad models, but that Microsoft Windows-based tablets will deliver it second place. One potential source of advantage for Microsoft: it can woo customers with existing but older Windows laptops looking to upgrade to a tablet or 2-in-1 device.

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