Commercial Tablet and 2-in-1 Expansion Accelerates in Western Europe, Says IDC

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According to figures published by International Data Corporation (IDC), the overall tablet market in Western Europe remained challenged in 1Q15, declining 10.5% year over year with total shipments totaling 8.5 million units. The contraction, however, was mainly the result of sluggish consumer demand as the expansion of tablets in the commercial space accelerates with volumes increasing 51.3% from the same period last year.

In terms of product category, the share of 2-in-1s, albeit growing, remains in single-digit territory at 5.9%. Nevertheless, the popularity of these devices continued to increase among consumers as well as enterprises, driving shipments up 44.4%.

Extended device life cycles and competition from smartphones with large screen sizes (phablets) as well as portable PCs at attractive price points diverted end-user budget and attention.

"In the absence of major product launches, the beginning of 2015 failed to stimulate stronger consumer demand," said Chrystelle Labesque, research manager, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. "Growth opportunity, however, clearly continues to come from enterprises and professional segments. Vendors have significantly expanded their product portfolio with devices optimized for business usage. Demand for 2-in-1 devices is gathering momentum driven by improved hardware offers as well as adjusted price points that are attracting private users as well as professionals."

Although 2015 started off disappointingly for the tablet market, IDC expects the negative trend to be reversed in the coming quarters thanks to innovation and renewals as existing devices reach the end of their life cycle. Increasing adoption of tablets and 2-in-1s for commercial purposes is also expected to improve the outlook, confirming the findings of IDC's latest survey of tablets in enterprises. For more information, see IDC's Western European multiclient study Tablets in Enterprise: The Big Opportunity.

"Tablet usage for professional purposes is a reality," said Marta Fiorentini, senior research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. "Deployment is no longer limited to a few early adopting countries or businesses. Adoption is far from being mainstream but we now see companies of all sizes choosing tablets and 2-in-1s to support their normal business activities. The U.K., France, Germany, and Nordic countries remain at the forefront of this trend as tablet adoption has become part of mobility and digital strategies in the private as much as public sector. For now, adoption in other Western European countries tends to be limited to occasional deals rather than being part of an overall approach, but interest is clearly increasing and is anticipated to materialize into additional deployments. The release of Windows 10 is likely to resolve most of the infrastructure legacy and integration problems that have so far hindered tablet and 2-in-1 adoption in some existing enterprises. The growth of the commercial segment is therefore expected to continue in the coming quarters, supporting overall market volumes in 2015 and beyond."

In terms of operating system trends, Android devices account for the majority of the market thanks to the large number of vendors offering tablets running on this OS. The largest vendor, Samsung, underperformed the market in the consumer segment in 1Q15, but showed strong commercial results. iOS maintains a solid second position owing to growing annual demand for Apple's large screen size products; the success of the iPhone 6, however, has partially impacted sales of the iPad Mini. The rest of the market is represented by Windows devices, which posted strong double-digit growth for the third quarter in a row. This was the result of the increasing number of models available on the market with this OS and, in particular, due to the growing adoption of 2-in-1s, especially Microsoft Surface Pro 3, but also the Acer T100 and Acer's Switch range.

Western Europe Tablets: Operating System Trends

1Q15 (Calendar Year) (000 Units)

 Unit ShipmentsUnit ShipmentsUnit % ShareUnit % ShareUnit Growth
Vendor 1Q14 1Q14 1Q14 1Q15 1Q14 vs 1Q15
Android 6,092 5,517


64.6% -9.4%
iOS 2,989 2,304 31.3% 27.0% -22.9%
Windows 465 722


8.4% 55.4%
Total 9,546 8,543 100.0% 100.0% -10.5%

Source: IDC EMEA Tablet Tracker, Final Results, 1Q15, May 2015

Table notes:

  • Tablets include tablet slate and 2-in-1s. According to IDC's taxonomy, 2-in-1s are designed to function as a standalone slate/tablet as well as a clamshell device with the addition of a physical detachable keyboard.
  • Shipments are branded shipments for all form factors (including desktops and notebooks) and exclude x86 servers as well as OEM sales for all vendors. Data for all vendors is reported for calendar periods.

IDC's Quarterly Tablet Tracker provides unmatched market coverage and forecasts for the entire device space, covering PCs, tablets, and smartphones in more than 80 countries — providing fast, essential, and comprehensive market information across the entire connected device market.

For more information on IDC's EMEA Quarterly Tablet Tracker or other IDC client computing research services, contact Vice President Karine Paoli on +44 (0) 20 8987 7218 or at

IDC's Western European multiclient study Tablets in Enterprise: The Big Opportunity included more than 2,000 interviews with companies' IT decision makers and lines of business by vertical sector across the three largest European markets. The study assesses the opportunity for tablet deployment in the enterprise space across Europe and in key geographies — France, Germany, and the U.K. — as businesses accelerate adoption and transform their mobile computing infrastructures.

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