Tablets continue to cut into PC sales

By: Teamwork Retail

The PC marketplace has shifted in recent years, thanks to the growing popularity of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. A new ABI Research report indicated the latter will account for 52 percent of the mobile computing industry by the end of 2015. Notebooks are projected to drop 3 percent from 2013, making up 48 percent of the sector, while declining another 1 percent in 2016.

The research firm indicated tablets, which are in direct competition with notebook PCs, are popular among end-users who seek connectivity and portability.

Tablets allow customers and employees to achieve similar functionality to that offered by larger PCs. Users can check email, access the Internet, send messages, download applications and complete work-related tasks with these devices. Those who prefer notebooks for their keyboards can equip their tablets with peripherals to make typing easier.

ABI Research Analyst Stephanie Van Vactor emphasized the functionality that notebooks still have over tablets.

“Notebooks offer a combination of portability and productivity that has yet to be achieved by any other portable mobile computing device,” Van Vactor said. “Although laptops appear to be losing traction, they’re not going out of style, and flat growth can be representative of several market conditions, including a longer lifecycle.”

IPads are ideal for retail sector
Tablets – Apple’s iPad, specifically- are much more than just consumer devices. Retailers in particular can incorporate iPads into their stores, offering more accessible ways for customers to check loyalty rewards data, inventory stock and even make purchases directly from the devices.

“Tablet sales continue to take away from PCs.”

Employees can walk around with tablets far more easily than trying the same with laptops or notebooks. Personnel are able to roam stores freely with iPads in hand to assist shoppers wherever they are located, rather than only assisting customers with their problems at designated checkout lines or help desks.

Companies that want to maximize tablets’ functionality should consider adopting a cloud-based mobile retail POS solution. Such systems make it possible for the entire workforce to access real-time data related to consumers’ purchase history, inventory availability or other information necessary to perform their jobs.

One of the reasons why some companies may be reluctant to adopt mobile technology is how fast this market is evolving. Every year, Apple and other vendors update their product lines with newer hardware perks. In Apple’s case, however, even older iPads still receive operating system updates.

Businesses that purchase iPads for their stores know beforehand that these products will still be supported in a few years, so procuring these tools are not a short-term investment.

Apple remains the clear-cut tablet manufacturer.Apple remains the clear-cut leading tablet manufacturer.

Apple remains dominant tablet leader
Despite worldwide tablet shipments experiencing their first year-over-year decline during the fourth quarter of 2014, amounting to 76.1 million units, Apple and Samsung are still the unquestioned industry leaders for these devices, an IDC report found. Apple accounted for more than 28 percent market share during the period, selling 21.4 million iPads, compared to Samsung with 11 million.

“The tablet market is still very top heavy in the sense that it relies mostly on Apple and Samsung to carry the market forward each year,” explained IDC Senior Research Analyst Jitesh Ubrani.

IDC Research Director Jean Philippe Bouchard said despite the challenges that influenced the tablet market in Q4, 2015 still looks positive for the industry as a whole. Microsoft is expected to launch a new operating system, while devices will become more productivity-based, leading to a stronger market.

This last point is important, given that tablets are becoming far more functional than they were when they first gained popularity. Businesses ready to replace outdated PCs should consider implementing mobile technology if they want agile employees.

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