As tablet sales take a dive, analysts expect smartphone vendors to launch convertibles

“The traditional tablet may not be dying, but it’s increasingly being relegated to the low end of the market, according to an IDC report released Thursday,” Mark Hachman reports for PCWorld. “Users are migrating toward convertibles instead, and the vendors are following.”

“IDC said worldwide tablet sales fell 14.7 percent to just 39.6 million units during the first quarter of 2016,” Hachman reports. “Excluding some seasonal holiday upticks, tablet sales have generally declined from their all-time high in the fourth quarter of 2013, when worldwide sales reached 78.6 million units.”

“Two trends seem to be emerging, IDC noted: First, premium tablets are evolving into detachables like the… Apple iPad Pro,” Hachman reports. “Detachable sales climbed by triple-digit rates to 4.9 million units, IDC said. Second, the traditional tablet is heading down toward the low end of the market, where Asian smartphone vendors are applying their mobile acumen to this larger form factor.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iPad Pro is not a “detachable” to anyone but the know-nothings inside IDC.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Overall, sounds like good news for iPad Pro, but, as always, take whatever IDC says with a dump truck full of salt.

IDC: Windows Phone to surpass Apple’s iOS by 2016 – June 6, 2012


  1. The iPad Pro is NOT a detachable PC. It is a TABLET with a keyboard and pencil accessory.

    Jeebus MDN, I know Apple is having a tough few days, buy man did you forget to take your crazy pills?

    Now, how about a detachable MBP? I’d buy!

  2. Apple wake Up..
    I have been bombarding you with this idea since more than 2 years ago ( and many many others for much much longer)
    I know you listen sometimes…. Its a fact for me.

    But i have this nasty feeling of complacency and arrogance going on at Apple..
    Unqualified individuals in key areas… Maybe due to super fast growth… ?

    All need to be addressed. The Trend is not favoring you at this moment.

    You need to go back to the MO of a startup..
    Insanely Good, Dynamic, Exciting, Mind boggling !……. Jaw dropping good….. PR that makes all of these resonate with the customer . Make us look forward. (Not chew on our nails)

    Does the last sentence sound familiar? ! ?

  3. Calling the iPad Pro a “detachable” is a bit of a stretch. There have always been keyboards for iPads. Users who need one buy one and those who don’t need one don’t. Same thing applies to the Pro, except that the connector makes it easier to mate to the keyboard. As with the prior models, the keyboard need not even come from Apple. To me, “detachable” implies a device that is designed to work normally with a base that provides something more than just a keyboard, like storage, batteries, or extra ports.

  4. I’m really perplexed by the apparent appeal of the so-called ‘detachables’. I’m not convinced that they’ll stay as popular as some people think, because:

    1. They’re based on their supposed advantage(s) over tablets (of which there are none). People have propagated the notion that tablets are consumption devices, not productivity devices (see the latest column by Paul Thurott for an example). Yet when I ask people to give examples, they flounder, or say something like, ‘it can run anything that Windows can”. I’ve been using an iPad 2 for the past three years almost exclusively to get my work done (still humming along) and recently bought an iPad Pro 12.9- I don’t need my laptop anymore.

    2. Logistically, a ‘detachable’ mobile device is a terrible idea. Not only are there concerns with losing pieces of your computer, but the constant attaching/detaching process will most certainly wear out components, especially considering how cheaply made these devices are. The ‘no moving parts’ mantra rightfully applies to the mobile arena.

    3. In a similar sense, these devices are an attempt to keep the netbook alive with fancy ‘features’ and a Windows OS (10) which is neither a touch-screen nor a mobile OS. This is Windows CE all over again.

    4. I don’t think Microsoft can pull it off. After the initial bump in sales of a neat new category of device, sales will dive as people realize the uselessness and expense of these devices. There are a handful of IT geeks where I work who are constantly drooling over their Surface devices. But It’s entirely amusing to see them try to close windows, manipulate stuff and make use of their styluses on the half-baked touch screen OS- trying to hit that little ‘X’ to close a window with the stylus is challenging enough. No wonder why they don’t try to use their fingers!

    That said, Apple needs to get on the ball here and make the iPad stand out.

    1. So you’ve laid out four salient points… but none of them address the fact that mac sales decreased by 12% while the Surface has increased by 50%. Now Microsoft will never, ever surpass the machine that is Apple in terms of pure production capacity, but the trends do not lie.. The truth hurts, but mac sales are down and tablets are down. Time to come up with something NEW, like Apple USED to do.

      1. Apple needs to release new Mac models and fix or replace OS X with something as intuitive and solid as Snow Leopard.

        Apple absolutely does NOT need to follow Microsoft down the road of klunky convertibles with bloated dual-purpose OSes.

        If Apple wanted to compete with the MS Surface, it would lower the price of the new MacBook into the appropriate range.

        The one thing Cook is right about is that convergence of OS X and iOS would result in a kludged mess, which is exactly what Windows is today.

        Interestingly, however, Windows 7 was as solid and just as efficient as El Crapitain has degraded to today. That’s what Apple has to fix. Stop the software bloat and the horrid washed out interfaces with translucent crap and grey-on-grey borderless windows. It’s like Apple hired a whole bunch of Windows designers 5 years ago and allowed OS X and on to degrade all Mac software interfaces into mediocrity.

        Oh, one more thing: FIX iTunes!!!! There are still some of us who would like to manage music easily and intuitively like we could with versions 1-10. Please get a clue, Apple.

      2. I wasn’t trying to address the comparative sales (despite the fact that mac sales are down, the iPad Pro outsold the Surface 2:1 in half the time last quarter). I was pondering the reason for the popularity of these ‘detachables’. Like I said, I think the reasons are what I’ve listed, but mostly it’s because of ideological headwinds from those who:

        -cannot make a decent tablet
        -want the netbook to stay alive
        -the MS diehards

        The Surface can’t compete with the iPad Pro on functionality grounds, battery life, design, OS and even ‘stylus’ (or whatever you want to call it). So I guess it’s up to Apple to start making the iPad an ‘Insanely Great’ device again- one which people must have.

  5. iPads cannot replace Laptops until Pages and Numbers etc.
    1. Can edit two documents at the same time. ( Split View )
    2. Fill Colors ( Numbers ) and
    Paragraph Background Colors. ( Pages ) can be created and edited on the iPad

  6. I think the conclusions of this article are poppycock. I’ve had two medical office experiences recently. The first clinic had just installed a PC based computer system and was at sea, i.e., floundering. The second office had an iMac in the reception area and the doctor’s assistant had an iPad. Everything the receptionist had entered was on the iPad in the exam room. The assistant took my face pic with it to make it part of the record and after the doctor drew the boundaries of a skin eruption I had, she took a picture of that, too. The doctor’s comments and directions were entered in real time and instantly became part of my file. This doctor is a progressive and ahead of the curve. This level of iPad use and efficiency is only going to grow. Despite corrupt politicians, banksters and military maniacs, the human race is still moving forward in some areas. The iPad is but a mere utensil in the Apple Eco-system. It’s the Eco-system, stupid!

  7. I need someone at Apple to hit on some LSD so that that individual has an “AHA!” Moment and brings to the table something that people need that they don’t even know they need yet. Like they used too. Right now these incremental updates with a ok or barely used new feature (Touch ID excluded) aren’t making people say Wow I gotta have that Apple product.

  8. MacBook needs to be detachable. Standalone iPad is a waste of money. Why buy two devices at 3k when one will do for the few moments you can effectively use as an iPad. I see very little reason for the iPad. It was a short lived phenomenon. The masses are now seeing that.

    1. Not for me. iPad form factor works perfectly for my chosen side uses and I own Mac Pro’s, iMac’s, MacBook & Mac Book Pro. I prefer dedicated devices which is why I have a dedicated new iPod too. Your mileage may vary.

  9. Well, I think my favorite part is the headline of course: “…analysts expect…”, which wants us to think that there must be a plethora of them out there saying the same thing. (That is about as stupid as the ‘famous’ “Enderle Group” , which sounds like a whole lot of people, right? Wrong, it only consists of Rob Enderle and his wife. Some group!) But of course, the original article is from ONE source (IDC), and seemingly ONE analyst within IDC. That makes it ONE OPINION…not worth much in my world. (I’m sure I could dredge up ‘one’ person/analyst to say the opposite). As Macdaily says…”with a BIG truck of salt”. Better yet, stop printing one opinion articles unless clearly stated, otherwise it’s basically “hit bait”.

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