The market for tablets for business users is ramping up as businesses shift computing models from PCs or laptops to two-in-one tablets, with Strategy Analytics predicting it will be growth area in the coming years.
The advisory firm says while the tablet overall has become ‘somewhat saturated’ resulting in slowed growth, business tablet shipments are expected to be a bright spot and ramp up in the next several years.
Gina Luk, Strategy Analytics senior analyst of mobile workforce strategies and author of the Global Business Tablet Forecast Update Q4 2015, says partnerships forged by vendors such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and HP demonstrate how some of the big players see the tablet potential in the enterprise.
Andrew Brown, Strategy Analytics executive director of enterprise research, adds that work being done in areas such as security, bespoke enterprise apps, always-on connectivity, ruggedised designs and accessory support, will make the push into enterprise a longer-term success.
He says for the last quarter of 2015, overall business tablet shipments showed a healthy growth, despite a slower year for business tablets overall.
“Expandign partnerships between tablet vendors, enterprise software and infrastructure vendors pushed productivity and alleviated management and security challenges for these devices in the enterprise,” Brown says.
Overall business tablet shipments are forecast to grow at 6% compound annual general growth rate between 2015 and 2016, reaching 110.2 million. Corporate-liable tablets will see the faster growth, at 7%, while personal-liable tablets are expected to see 5% CAGR.
Strategy Analytics figures show the worldwide business tablet market hit 26.3 million units shipped in Q4 2015 – up 36.7% on the previous quarter. The company notes that figure is ‘bolstered by seasonality’.
Personal-liable tablets grew 36%, while corporate liable tablets were up 38%.
However, those increases didn’t prevent a slow down in the market for the full year, with the business tablet declining 7% year on year from 2014 as personal liable tablet shipments slowed, while corporate-liable tablets ramped up significantly.
Strategy Analytics says that’s a trend that is expected to continue as prices on tablets reduce, security and management concerns are addressed and businesses shift to two-in-ones.
Luk says APAC saw stronger business tablet growth quarter over quarter in Q$, as well as year over year, compared with other regions.
The company notes that as tablets become more estabished workplace tools, the pressure on IT departments to enable the practice of BYOD and to ensure the enterprise has the infrastructure and policies in place to secure corporate data and systems, also continues to grow.