There was less than a thousand shipments separating the two top detachable vendors in 2016.
According to IDC New Zealand, Apple gained the top spot in 2016, making up for a total market share of 32 percent, although Microsoft was nipping on their heels with 31 percent.
Interestingly, this is the first year since 2013 that Microsoft has not held been on the top rung of full year shipments in the detachable market.
There was some very encouraging growth in the market, with a total of 80,000 detachables being shipped to New Zealand in 2016, which represents a year-on-year growth of around 45 percent.
HP (9 percent), Samsung (7 percent), and Acer (7 percent) made up the remaining top five vendors for the year, with the rest of the market accounting for less than 15 percent of shipments.
Due to entering the market late in 2015, Apple skyrocketed almost 650 percent year-on-year. Illustrating the stark differences between a mature market player and a new entrant, Microsoft grew just 3 percent.
Mobile device market analyst for IDC New Zealand, Chayse Gorton believes there are two key reasons –aside from the popularity of Apple – for 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 says.
"Competing windows detachables often have similar specifications to Microsoft detachables, but are frequently sold at a lower price.”
Gorton also attributes the changing of Microsoft’s offerings as another reason.
"In 2016, Microsoft enhanced its identification as a premium vendor, by introducing higher-end models and reducing its low-end range,” Gorton says.
“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.”
IDC has predicted detachables to continue their rapid growth in New Zealand, growing year-on-year around 25-30 percent in 2017 before beginning to flatten off in future years.