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​Microsoft popularises 2-in-1 category as OEM partners launch Surface clones

​Microsoft popularises 2-in-1 category as OEM partners launch Surface clones

“Combined with the success of Windows 10, many more OEM partners are launching Surface clones at lower price points."

In search of higher margins and conquest sales from the PC market, tablet vendors 2-in-1 and Pro Slate devices have garnered higher revenue and stabilised average selling prices (ASPs).

That’s according to the new Strategy Analytics findings, which credits Microsoft for popularising the 2-in-1 tablet category, prompting the launch of Surface clones from OEM partners.

Consequently, Microsoft and Apple combined to sell over a million of their Pro Slates last quarter, and most mobile-first/smartphone vendors now have Pro Slates (with optional keyboard) or 2-in-1 tablets (with detachable keyboard standard) to sate growing demand for these converged computing devices.

“Microsoft deserves credit for popularising 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,” says Peter King, Service Director, Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies, Strategy Analytics.

“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.

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

In addition, white Box vendors (combined) shipped 13.3 million tablets valued at nearly $750 million total in Q1 2016; by comparison, Microsoft’s 1.1 million tablet shipments fetched $950 million due to higher quality products commanding much higher prices.

Apple alone took 39 percent of tablet revenues in Q1 2016, nearly double its shipment unit market share of 22 percent.

Meanwhile, Android tablets represented 64 percent of tablet shipments but earned only a 41 percent share of revenue during Q1 2016, reflecting lower ASPs than their Windows and iOS counterparts.

“As a device, the tablet is going through a period of recalibration as productivity becomes more important, enterprises purchase more touchscreen and mobile first devices for a new generation of workers, and consumers begin paring down ownership of multiple computing devices,” adds Eric Smith, Senior Analyst, Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies, Strategy Analytics.

“We expect shipments to continue their slow decline over the next couple of years during which the usefulness, quality, and ASPs (average selling prices) of tablets grow.”

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