GfK findings on the global IT market - first six months of 2015
Nuremberg, September 2, 2015 – A fundamental shift in the tablet market was observed during the first six months of 2015: As GfK projected last year, demand for the classic tablet with reduced functionality is declining steadily. In contrast, there is a boom in demand for full functioning computers in tablet format. In the first half of 2015, the worldwide demand for classic media tablets with an Android or iOS operating system decreased by 9 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. The demand for tablet computers rose by 61 percent. The cloud-oriented Windows 10 operating system launched this summer promises to stimulate positively the computer market. GfK findings on the global IT market, published to coincide with the IFA 2015 trade fair in Berlin.
Worldwide demand for computers and tablets by individuals recorded a decline of 9 percent in the first six months of 2015. Although the worldwide computing market shows spending restraint across the board, a different picture emerged within the respective product segments and markets. The innovative segment of convertible devices, which can be used as a regular computer as well as a tablet, boasted a growth in demand of 53 percent. Computer tablets and portable devices with small displays and a screen size less than 15inch also recorded double digit increase in demand by 61 percent and 19 percent, respectively. The primary reason for consumers to acquire a new computer is their growing need for more flexible and more mobile usage.
Demand for tablets decreases
Even in Asian and Latin American countries with less purchasing power, declining consumer demand for computers has become visible when compared to the previous years. The tablet boom that focused on the small-sized 7-inch display segment and therefore on very price-conscious consumers since 2014, has slowed down significantly in 2015.In Asia, sales of these tablets dropped by 15 percent, in Latin America by 14 percent. Causes include saturated markets, low purchasing power, and the resulting long-term use of existing devices. Aside from small tablets, the demand for large-sized tablets greater than 8-inch also decreased in both regions. Phablets, in other words smartphones with very large screens, however, are gaining in popularity.
The demand for tablets in Western Europe has declined too, and was 8 percent lower compared to the same period last year. However, a distinct shift has become apparent in favor of large tablets, whose share rose from 53 percent (July 2013) to 63 percent (July 2015). The trend to have flexible cloud content access at all times makes a large display considerably more attractive to the consumer than it was two years ago.
Distinct usage behavior for cloud offerings can be seen in each region, influenced by consumers’ social and cultural attitudes. Accordingly, a different demand in the large tablets segment is also to be noted. In the medium-term we can expect consumer market share for classic tablets to drop from 50 percent to a corridor of 45 to 40 percent. New product innovations like tablet computers or convertibles in combination with the launch of Windows 10 are bound to have potential to considerably diminish the market share of media tablets with any display size.
Tablet computers and convertible devices: innovations for the consumer
The private sector demand for convertible devices grew in Western Europe by 140 percent during the first half of 2015. As a result, consumers are quite ready to invest in innovations that offer clear advantages for use. Convertible devices combine the processing power of a “classic” computer with the handling of a tablet or notebook by means of rotating or collapsible screens. They represent a typical all-in-one product, as has been commonplace in office environments (printing/faxing/scanning/copying in one multifunctional device) for years now. For the first time consumers have the opportunity to replace their tablet and laptop - two separate digital devices - with a single device. This means that convertible devices in Western Europe indicate realistic growth potential of 70 up to 80 percent for year-end 2015 as well as for 2016.
The demand in the tablet computer segment grew in a similarly positive fashion, rising by 111 percent. These devices offer the processing power of a “classic” computer in tablet format. This allows the rather passive, consumption-oriented use of the classic tablet to be supplemented by more active use, for which a full-fledged computer is needed. GfK also projects an increase in demand for this segment in Western Europe of between 40 and 50 percent both for year-end 2015 as well as in 2016.
Positive momentum from Windows 10 and cloud services
Demand for traditional computers grew during the first six months of 2015 at a measured pace, compared to the same period the previous year.
Worldwide, sales in units for the 15-inch laptop segment decreased by 13 percent. In Western Europe demand rose by 2 percent, in Central and Eastern Europe(1) by 14 percent. In the Commonwealth of Independent States of the former USSR (CIS)(2), by contrast, sales in units fell by 43 percent.
Worldwide sales in units in the segment of desktop-replacement laptops also declined (minus 19 percent). There was a similar development of minus 16 percent in Western Europe and minus 42 percent in the CIS. Only in Central and Eastern Europe demand slightly increased by 1 percent.
Worldwide demand in the desktop segment decreased by 14 percent. Even in Western Europe (minus 12 percent) and in the CIS (minus 44 percent) demand declined. Only in Central and Eastern Europe demand increased by 13 percent.
In the all-in-one-desktops (AIO-Desktop) segment the worldwide demand decreased by 10 percent. In Western Europe as well as Central and Eastern Europe sales in units increased by 6 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Likewise, demand in the CIS decreased by 38 percent.
The cloud-oriented Windows 10 operating system launched this summer will stimulate positive momentum to the computer market. In Western Europe, GfK expects 6 up to9 percent higher demand in year-end business, and the same for 2016.
Innovations in functionality and expanded usage options, improvements in the design, and a user interface that combines keyboard, mouse, and touchpad should also guarantee positive growth in demand for the market in 2016 and 2017.
To read the full Press Release please download below.
About the methods
Through the framework of its retail panel, GfK regularly gathers point-of-sales data in over 100 countries worldwide concerning IT hardware, IT software, and accessories. The analysis is determined by current developments in consumer demand in the worldwide, European, and German IT markets during the first six months of 2015. Since 2014, GfK has started integrating data from distributors, retail, and system houses into a database. This consistent pool of data enabled the recognition of the potential for improvement and efficiency within the supply chain as well as the creation of competitive and profitable distribution strategies.
(1) Central and Eastern Europe includes the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia
(2) The Commonwealth of Independent States of the former USSR (CIS) comprises the coun-tries of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.2) The Commonwealth of Independent States of the former USSR (CIS) comprises the coun-tries of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.
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