A new keyboard is displayed with the new Apple Inc. iPad Pro during an Apple product announcement in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Apple Inc. introduced a larger iPad with a 12.9-inch screen, designed to attract business users and jump-start demand for its tablets. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Photograph by David Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tablet Shipments Fall As Industry Pins Hopes on ‘Detachables’

Dec 01, 2015

Sales of tablet computers keep falling while their more versatile siblings, the detachable tablets, are on the upswing.

A new report from International Data Corporation on Tuesday predicted that nearly 211.3 million tablets would be shipped worldwide in 2015, a roughly 8% drop compared to 2014.

However, the analysts said that sales of detachable tablets were increasing, although they didn’t say whether that would eventually make up for the decline in tablets as a whole. Detachable tablets, or 2-in-1 tablets, are hybrid devices that can function as both a laptop and tablet with the help of removable keyboards and computer mice.

Apple’s (aapl) new iPad Pro and Microsoft’s (msft) Surface are examples.

The analysts said that shipments of detachables would nearly double in the next year, although they didn’t break down how many detachable tablets have been shipped so far in 2015.

The IDC report explained that consumers may be swayed by the versatility of detachable tablets, and that interest could lift Apple’s tablet market share with its iPad Pro. Some users complain that tablet without keyboards are difficult to use for business purposes or in class to take notes.

"Though early reviews for the iPad Pro have been mixed, we believe the Pro to be the only reason for Apple to gain tablet market share in the coming years as they target select enterprise and prosumer audiences,” IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said in a statement.

The report said that tablets based on Google’s (goog) Android operating systems represented 67% of the tablet market in 2015. Meanwhile, Apple accounted for 24.5% and Microsoft another 8.5%.

For 2016, the authors said that Android devices would lose a bit of market share to both Apple and Microsoft, but they will still dominate with 63.7% of the market.

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