Pro Slates 'cannibalising' the PC and tablet markets

Two-in-one and Pro Slate devices have earned their vendors higher revenue, managing to stabilise average selling prices, a new report by Strategy Analytics says.

The report, entitled “Global Tablet Vendor & OS, Unit & Value Market Share by Region: Q1 2016” says Microsoft and Apple sold more than a million of their Pro Slates last quarter.

What’s more, most mobile-first and smartphone vendors now have Pro Slates with an optional keyboard, or a 2-in-1 tablets in stock, to ‘sate growing demand for these converged computing devices’.

And here I was, thinking the tablet market was done for. I guess there’s still room for cannibalism.

Summarising the market, the report says white box vendors shipped a total of 13.3 million tablets, with a value of $750 million in the first quarter of 2016. Microsoft alone has sold much less, ‘just’ 1.1 million, but earned more, $950 million, thanks to the higher-quality devices costing more.

Android tablets, despite having 64 per cent of all tablets shipped in Q1 2016, hold just 41 per cent of the share, highlighting just how strong Apple is in this market.

The American computer giant took 39 per cent of tablet revenues this quarter, almost doubling its shipment unit market share of 22 per cent.

“Microsoft deserves credit for popularizing the Pro Slate category, typified by a premium tablet with PC-grade processing power, with an optional keyboard to further add to revenues and profit. Combined with the success of Windows 10, many more OEM partners are launching Surface clones at lower price points to get a share of this lucrative, growing segment,” says Peter King, Service Director, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies service.

“Though it didn’t gain first mover status, Apple now has two tiers of Pro Slates to join in the cannibalization of the PC and Tablet markets, to the betterment of iPad ASPs (average selling prices).”