Tablet Device Trends

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Tablet Device Trends

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00021185

Publication Date: 2102

Report Type: MARKET


With the onset of global pandemic and subsequent need for remote streaming,
connectivity, and office work, the global tablet computing market has been
thrust back into a position of strong growth for the first time in years. This shift has helped
to put
the focus on the productivity capabilities that business customers need, rather
than the entertainment features that tend to be favored by consumers. For enterprises that have
employees using tablets, this shift also creates new purchasing and IT management
demands. This market report takes a look at some of these considerations.

Report Contents:

Executive Summary

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Tablet computers have come to be regarded as critical tools for a great number of
corporate employees.

Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms
The Wearables Marketplace Market

In addition, the ability to connect to tablet-equipped customers has
become a key component of competitiveness in many
industries. However, because there are dozens of choices available to
tech consumers, this device demographic can, in turn, create increased complexity and
diversity for the mobile population. Given this, many enterprise
IT planners will look to mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP)
technology to mount timely, effective content and app creation efforts for the
tablet market. MEAPs can be useful tools for administering, publishing,
updating, and safeguarding enterprise content, apps, and backend resources
accessed by line-of-business software.

In making a decision regarding the purchase of an enterprise tablet, key
considerations may

  • Screen Size – Generally ranging from 7.5"x4.5" to 18.4"x13"
  • Pure (touchscreen only) versus Hybrid (accompanying keyboard
    and / or mouse), the latter of which far less common, or requires additional
  • Cost versus Functionality

Given the proliferation of portable devices in recent years – and the growing
reliance on a BYOD (bring-your-own-device) movement – the tablet market has
grown both crowded and diverse, with more than a dozen vendors offering their
own models. For this reason,
enterprises should be particular in selecting the platform that best fits worker
preferences, use cases, and business objectives.


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Key Advantages

Tablets offer several advantages over PCs and smartphones, including:

  • Portability – Lending themselves to situations where carrying a
    laptop is too cumbersome but where the smaller interface of a smartphone is
  • Lightweight – Making it easier to carry and store.
  • Power Efficiency – Limiting one’s reliance on finding a nearby
    power source.
  • "Instant On" Activation – For working in brief
    increments, pausing, then resuming later without losing one’s place.
  • Display Size – Improved screen size over mobile devices.
  • Optional Connectivity – 4G or 5G access to online and
    behind-the-firewall data to limit one’s need for a local Internet
  • Touch-Based Interface – For added convenience and portability
    with regards to eliminating peripherals.


the high end of the market, larger-screen devices may cost $1,000 or more,
with some tablets such as the iPad or iPad Pro featuring more than 12" of (often
HD) screen size; lower-end units – with less RAM, functionality, and screen size
– such as the Amazon Fire generally sell for as little as $50.

Another tablet option is models that are considered "hybrid," "convertible,"
or "2-in-1 devices." These releases traditionally feature comparable
performance, storage, power consumption, and size to a laptop but with the
form-factor of a tablet. The key
difference between hybrids and other tablets is that they offer users a
traditional keyboard / mouse interface to compliment their touchscreen, and
can often also support legacy business-productivity apps.
For most enterprise users, a carrier network-equipped tablet is likely the
optimal choice, in that they tend to provide the flexibility and convenience to
which mobile workers are accustomed, while also delivering more sophisticated apps
that fully exploit a larger screen.

Current View

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The global tablet market has grown considerably1, year to year, in
much part due to growing reliance on remote connectivity due to COVID-19. In the
fourth quarter alone, the market experienced nearly 20 percent Y2Y growth and
shipments of 52.2 million units. The three-month estimates accounted for the
most successful quarter for tablets since 2017 Q4’s 49.9 million shipped.

Table 1 looks at the top tablet companies worldwide, per IDC’s estimates.

Table 1. Market-Leading Tablet Vendors
Company Units Shipped (2019) Year-to-Year Growth
Apple 53.2 million +6.7 percent
Samsung 31.3 million +44.4 percent
Huawei 16 million +8.5 percent
Lenovo 14.1 million +7.5 percent
Amazon 14.0 million +66.4 percent
Others 35.5 million -3.2 percent

statistics are illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Global Tablet Market (2020)

Figure 1. Global Tablet Market (2020)

Source: IDC


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BYOD Programs

According to at least one 2019 study, approximately 67 percent of employees
use a personal device for work-related purposes, with 87 percent of businesses
"dependent" on a staffer’s ability to "access mobile business apps from their
smartphone"2. The actual BYOD adoption figure is, however, actually
down from the 74 percent reported in 20153.

Overall, the BYOD market is projected to hit $96 billion in 20234.

Changing Tablet and PC Markets

of seeking to supplement PCs, many buyers tend to look to replace
them. As a result, vendors increasingly focus on higher-end models
that are manufactured for business, rather than marketing tablets to consumers as
products for, for example, watching videos5.


Although wearables are not considered a direct competitor to the traditional tablet, these
options will likely continue to affect the tablet market. For example, wearables might come to be viewed as more cutting edge while tablets come
to be viewed as commonplace. A change in consumer opinion like this might
diminish demand for tablets. Similarly, companies like Apple and Microsoft
might come to view the wearables market as the frontline in their
competition, making tablets less of a focus for development even if they
remain a much bigger part of the companies’ revenues.

According to IDC, wearable device shipments totaled 125 million units for
the 2020 third quarter alone. This amount marks a 35.1 percent year-on-year


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Consider Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms

Enterprise mobility planners should consider MEAPs (mobile enterprise
application platforms) for the development, management, and deployment of
mobile content and apps, as
tablets tend to make an attractive target for customer-engagement apps, brand-building activities, and marketing campaigns. This
factor translates to increased demand
for content and apps among a diverse group of users. Taking the
simultaneous explosion in smartphone diversity into account, this
factor helps to make the case for device-agnostic app-development platforms and MEAPs
when deploying content.

Base Purchasing Decisions on Business Needs

It is wise for organizations to take advantage of the diversity of mobile
devices to find best-match tools for workers and customers. The range of
capabilities available in mobile devices (convertibles, pure tablets,
smartphones, and e-readers) means that there is virtually no case
imaginable where it is necessary to over- or under-equip an end user. This
complicates the evaluation process for devices and the deployment of line-of-business mobile apps, but also means that there is a better
prospect of optimizing ROI (return on investment) for mobile initiatives.


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