IDC: Detachable Tablet Sales for the Enterprise Are Booming

If you believed many news reports, you’d believe that tablets were dead in the enterprise, victim to the overall trend of shrinking tablet sales. But the exact opposite is true. While worldwide, tablet sales are down 13.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to a year previous, sales of the tablets most popular in enterprises — detachables — hit an all-time high in the quarter. So says the most recent results from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.

Sales of pure tablets, those not designed to attach to keyboards, was off a full 21.1%, the report says. But the sales of detachables, the report concludes, more than doubled in the quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Detachables include the Microsoft Surface line as well as the new, large iPad Pro. The report says that the iPad Pro was the top-selling detachable in the quarter.

Why Detachables Are Growing So Fast

Why are detachables becoming so popular? Because they’re being used in the enterprise, often in place of more expensive PCs. Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets at IDC, says, “One of the biggest reasons why detachables are growing so fast is because end users are seeing those devices as PC replacements. We believe Apple sold just over two million iPad Pros while Microsoft sold around 1.6 million Surface devices, a majority of which were Surface Pro and not the more affordable Surface 3. With these results, it’s clear that price is not the most important feature considered when acquiring a detachable – performance is.”

There’s good reason that detachable use is growing in the enterprise. It’s not just that they save companies money because they’re typically less expensive than PCs. For much work, they’re also superior to PCs, particularly when it comes to using interactive forms, or for applications that require touch. They’re also much lighter and easier to carry tham=n laptops.

The upshot of all this? If you’re a mobile app developer, no need to worry about reports of plunging tablet sales. When it comes to the enterprise, sales of tablets are full speed ahead.

To get a copy of the full IDC report, click here.

To read why tablets will rule the enterprise, click here.