Enterprise users keep tablet sales afloat, say analysts

Tablet sales might not be great, thanks to the ever growing popularity of the phablet, but that is all about to change, analytics say.

The saviour of these oversized displays that lack smartphone features will be the enterprise user, according to a report by Strategy Analytics.

Shipments of large tablets will jump 185 per cent year-on-year in 2015, the research says. Large tablets include all devices with screens bigger than 11 inches. That includes the likes of Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 and the highly anticipated iPad Pro, which Apple is expected to announce this autumn.

Enterprise sales will continue to fuel sales of large tablets over the next four years, Strategy Analytics say, adding that shipments will most likely almost double to 19.3 million units by 2019.

That equals to seven per cent share of the total tablet market.

Workers use tablets in retail point-of-sale systems, to create content like websites and presentations, or enter data and access files while doing fieldwork.

The same report says that smaller tablets will not share the success of their bigger brothers. According to the report, sales of smaller tablets (7 to 7.9 inches) will drop 15 per cent, to 30 per cent of the market.

Another problem is the extended upgrade cycle, as consumers have no need to replace their old tablets that are working just fine. Newer ones, also, don't have much to offer.

“Just as phablets have eaten away at the smaller end of the tablet spectrum, the gulf between PCs and tablets is shrinking every day. Major vendors are pushing the boundaries of all three major mobile operating systems and hardware configurations to transform the tablet into a content ccreation device,” said Strategy Analytics’ senior tablet and touchscreen analyst Eric Smith.