Less than one thousand shipments separated the top two detachable vendors in 2016, with Apple edging Microsoft for New Zealand sales.
According to IDC New Zealand findings, Apple captured the top spot for the 12 months just past, with a total market share of 32 per cent.
Slightly trailing behind was Microsoft, with a total market share of 31 per cent, representing the first year since 2013, that Redmond has not held the highest full year shipments share in the Kiwi detachable market.
Collectively, a total of 80,000 detachables were shipped in to the New Zealand market in 2016, increasing from 55,000 in 2015, growth of around 45 per cent year on year.
Meanwhile, HP (nine per cent), Samsung (seven per cent), and Acer (seven per cent) made up the remaining top five vendors for the year, with the rest of the market accounting for less than 15 per cent of shipments.
Apple grew close to 650 per cent year over year, off a small shipment base, due to entering the market late in 2015.
In contrast, Microsoft achieved modest growth of three per cent over its 2015 detachable shipments.
“These stark differences in percentage terms highlight the difference between a mature market player and a new entrant,” IDC New Zealand Mobile Device Market Analyst, Chayse Gorton, said.
According to Gorton, aside from the popularity of Apple, there are two key reasons contributing to Microsoft’s fall from the number one position.
“Microsoft is facing increasing competition from the wide range of detachable models, running windows operating system, on the market,” Gorton explained.
Gorton said such competition has led to Microsoft's share of windows detachable shipments falling from 58 per cent in 2015, to 50 per cent in 2016.
“Competing windows detachables often have similar specifications to Microsoft detachables, but are frequently sold at a lower price,” he added.
Given New Zealand is a price conscious nation, Gorton said that a lower price, even by small a margin can be enough to entice a consumer to purchase from a competing vendor.
“In 2016, Microsoft enhanced its identification as a premium vendor, by introducing higher-end models and reducing its low-end range,” he added.
“The Surface Book, Microsoft's most premium detachable, started shipping early in 2016, and at a similar time, the Surface 3, Microsoft's low-end detachable stopped shipping.
“This change in strategy contributed towards Microsoft's modest shipment growth.”
Looking ahead, IDC forecasts detachables to grow 25-30 per cent, before beginning to flatten off in future years - this will occur as detachable models wow factor reduces, and as consumers evaluate the added benefit over competing personal computers.