Slowing Tablet Market Finds Footing in the Enterprise, According to VDC Research

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Opportunities for enterprise tablets are increasing due to high demands for capable mobile solutions that can support meaningful line-of-business (LoB) applications.

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One third of today’s 3 billion workers are mobile, so the need for capable mobile solutions is only increasing.”

The tablet market will experience its first contraction in 2015 with overall unit shipments declining by 2%, according to a new report by VDC Research (click here for more info). After several years of strong growth, early 2015 consisted of growing competition from popular large smartphones, a slower than expected replacement/upgrade cycle among existing end users, and challenging primary use-case positioning of tablets relative to PCs and smartphones. Although overall demand for tablets has slowed, tablets have become an increasingly popular selection for enterprise LoB applications. VDC projects enterprise shipments of tablets to grow by 12.1% annually, significantly outpacing overall demand.

According to VDC’s research, organizations with LoB mobility solutions are equipping their frontline mobile workers with tablets to support these workflows. Developing new and higher value-adding opportunities, leading tablet vendors are increasing their focus on enterprise customers and designing solutions to meet the unique functionality and security requirements many of these customers require.

“From an OS perspective, we see Android gaining ground against iOS in the consumer tablet market as iPad shipments stall,” says David Krebs, Executive Vice President of VDC Research. “In addition, Windows’ footprint in the enterprise segment is significant, driven by demand for specialized rugged tablets and also the success of Microsoft’s Surface Pro line of 2-in-1s.”

The tablet form factor has unique appeal for mobile workers, meeting their need for a portable mobile device while providing sufficient display real estate to support meaningful applications. From forms-based inspection and data collection applications to the tablet’s use as a customer engagement tool in high value retail environments, VDC projects substantial demand for these solutions.

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Eric Klein
VDC Research Group, Inc
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