A Moderate Decline of 2.1% is Expected in the Category of Tablets and PCs Indicating An Advent of Stability Era
The independent analyst company Canalys has recently published an article on its website describing the current situation in the worldwide PC and tablet shipments. According to it, a decrease of 2.1% is expected in the industry, which in numbers means 398 million items to be shipped in the entire 2018. However, within the context of the recent years, this downward trend has been pretty consistent, and the predicted decline is much smaller in 2018 than it was in the past four years. Allegedly, this might be an indicator of an upcoming era of stability.
The largest PC distributors aim their attention at rapidly increasing new categories, including convertibles, Chromebooks, and gaming PCs. In commercial sector, Windows 10 migration forces companies to transfer to newer microarchitectures.
According to Canalys Research Analyst Ishan Dutt, commercial customers will become a bottom-line factor for PC shipments in 2018. To ensure further growth, vendors have to adhere to the new strategic models. First of all, they will provide support to the clients that are still using Windows 7 to help them transfer rapidly and seamlessly. Second, they will target Device as a Service (DaaS) offerings, helping customers to mitigate their hardware investments. Third, several vendors will pump into the Chrome OS platform worldwide, with an emphasis on the educational field.
As for consumer sector, the overall demand is expected to be at a lower level. “Components such as DRAM will remain constrained in the short-term, and vendors will pass most of the increased costs onto customers, driving up ASPs,” Dutt said. The category of gaming PCs has recently ballooned in major world’s markets, including China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the USA, where the younger generation of consumers is ready to invest in high performance devices for gaming and eSports. Another dominant trend in the consumer segment with relatively low entrance barriers is the abundance of new market players, such as Huawei and Xiaomi, tending to squeeze the regulars like Dell, HP, and Lenovo out of the field.
While iPad shipments have experienced a minor growth, generally speaking, tablets are still in decline, as customers choose to rely on smartphones for mobility and traditional PCs for productivity tasks. Over the next 4 years, a downtrend of 3% per year is expected.
Another Canalys Analyst, Robin Ody, highlights that tablets “are rapidly shifting in a commercial direction.” Thanks to the larger displays, connectivity and portability of tablets, they are adapted for use in education, healthcare, and retail sectors. Companies often transform tablets into point-of-sales solutions for customers and sellers, while more advanced tablet devices, such a as iPad Pro and Surface Pro, are now used for more sophisticated purposes. However, a variety of reasons, including compatibility with peripherals, number of ports, and pricing policy hinders a more extensive use of professional tablets.