Aussies Are Ditching Android (Tablets) For Windows (Tablets)

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While there were 1.4 million tablets sold in Australia over the last year, as a whole, sales are on the decline (by roughly 10 per cent). Android has seen the biggest hit - with a 29 per cent drop in the first half of 2016 alone.

And while absolutely thrashed on the smartphone stakes, analysts are predicting it'll be Windows overtaking Android by the end of the year.

Image: Telsyte

It's not just consumers guiding the decline in Android-based tablet sales. The Telsyte Australian Tablet Computer Market Study 2017-2021 shows manufacturers are turning away from Android to focus on Microsoft Windows 10-based touchscreen devices.

Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Lenovo still make up the top four tablet manufacturers, making up a combined 80 per cent of all tablets sold in Australia. Apple still absolutely dominates the market, with iPads making up almost half of all sales.

The move towards 2-in-1 tablets (including the iPad pro) is significant - they make up a third of tablet sales. This is good news for Windows, who have struggled with the smartphone market (bit of an understatement there).

"Microsoft seems to be redeeming itself with larger touchscreens despite losing the smartphone platform battle," Telsyte Managing Director, Foad Fadaghi, says.

Telsyte reckons there will be 1.7 million tablets sold in the second half of 2017 - that's seven per cent up on last year - as people start replacing their older devices.

For the purposes of the research, a "tablet" was defined as a computer device, with 7-inch or larger touch screen, that can be used without a keyboard or mouse. A "2-in-1" devices has a detachable or foldable keyboard (Microsoft Surface, iPad pro and Samsung Galaxy TabPro S included).


    Not surprising since Google themselves are pushing 2-in-1 Chromebooks over Android tablets now that ChromeOS can use Android apps. The new Chromebook Pixel being released in 2 days is a prime example of this.

    Odd that the iPad Pro is counted as a 2-1 device based solely on detachable keyboards?
    A standard iPad can do the same thing

    For the purposes of the research, a "tablet" was defined as a computer device, with 7-inch or larger touch screen, that can be used without a keyboard or mouse.

    So, does that make a touchscreen laptop a tablet for this purpose?

      Nope, the keyboard needs to be completely detachable.

        It doesn't say detachable anywhere? Just that it can be used without a keyboard or mouse, which is any Windows 10 PC with a touchscreen...

        So this mostly just means people are buying more Surface computers, which has been a thing for a while now :).

    Certainly not helped by the lack of quality android tablets, but you'll have to prise my Pixel C from my cold dead hands (unless you just switched it out for a pixelbook). Despite the keyboard being detachable, I never go anywhere without it anyway, so a 2-in-1 would make a lot of sense.

      There are quality Android tablets available. It's just their development has been stagnant for awhile. I love the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet but it's over two years old now. With nothing new to replace it.

      You could argue (rightfuly) that it does everything that's needed, is fast enough, nice enough screen etc that there is no need for a newer model. But without releasing newer models how do you sell more units? Samsung is in a similar boat. Release a few more newer tablets with 2017 specs and features and sales will spike again.

      Oh, and one of the problems is saturation. There are two types of buyers, the ones who buy because there's a new model (Apple love these, well so does any company) and the ones who buy when they *need* a new device. I suspect a lot more android users fall into this category. Many of these users would have bought in the last few years and their tablets are working fine, so why buy a new one? When they start wearing out it might be interesting to see if they keep buying Android or jump ship.

      Anyway, regardless of how good/bad android tablets are the fact is MS is on a winner with their tablets. The fact that you can transition more or less seemlessly between the tablet and a PC is great. I bought one for my Mum because the learning curve is shallower. And if you get a "proper" one (as opposed to the lower spec ones that run Windows RT) it has full Windows on it so you can install the exact same apps as your PC. That's a huge selling point too.

      I have an old android tablet and if (when) it dies I'd more likely buy a windows one since I can use everything I've got installed on the PC rather than trying to find a different android alternative (or Apple alternative). I kinda wish the MS phone had been more compelling (not that it was bad). Then I could have had the whole environment unified.

    Just look at how few Android tablets are available in Australia!
    Even the new Lenovo tablets, they just didn't bring the Tab 4 8" Plus model to Australia!

    I think it has more to do with the fact that tablets in Android and iOS have actual limited use for anything other than mainly passive use. Great for reading things and playing games and what not. But if you want to do meaningful work then Windows 10 is still required.

    Too many Android apps are half baked, cut down and crippled versions of real desktop programs when it comes to productivity use.

    This isn't surprising at all. Android tablets will likely disappear soon. Samsung are the only manufacturer making flagship devices any more and even their range is diminishing.

    The root cause is a lack of decent support in the OS. Google had a go at scalable, large screen support with Honeycomb. But clearly there wasn't enough OEM demand so it was quietly merged into ICS.

    Ever since, the majority of Android apps suck on a tablet and don't make use of the additional screen real estate. Ars have run a few articles over the years on this. Even most Google apps don't have tablet recognition or specific interfaces. Hangouts is a great (or should that be lousy) example of this. Gmail is still about the only one that automatically scales properly to a 3 pane view vs the standard 2 on phones.

    Conversely, M$ apps on Android have recognised and typically supported tablets. Even something as obtuse as OWA seems to be screen size aware.

    The range and number of games is probably what keeps Android tablets relevant for now. Let's not kid ourselves, 2-in-1s are for work, tablets are for recreation. But the range of games is improving on Win 10, especially with platforms like Steam helping bridge the OS gaps.

      Honeycomb was rushed out with tablet support in the face of the iPad sales taking off. It was always going to be followed by ICS. Heck, it's version number and name all fit in nicely with the scheme of thing. It would be stupid to have two different OS's to maintain. Have one that can scale up or down (which it already does with various sized phones).

      I've never really had an issue with a small or large tablet, but then again, I don't use them for productivity. They are great for games, browsing the web, or videos. And great for ebooks which is my main use these days.

    Android tablets have always been bad - Android has always lagged behind in the tablet sector. Apple might use their iron fist to beat developers into submission, but at least they forced proper tablet support for iOS.

    I think they're going to pin their hopes on Chromebooks instead - although the Android apps on Chromebooks suffer from the exact same problem as they do on Android tablets - they don't scale well and it's basically shoving the phone UI onto the desktop. Also try getting a decent Chromebook in Australia - they're all underpowered, and the decent ones are overpriced. I can get a lower end Windows 10 laptop that does way more than a high end Chromebook for a similar price.

      O_o I...what!?

      Android tablets are just as good as Apple tablets. In fact, Android tablets were first to offer true bamboo (Art) integration capabilities. Moreover, their interfaces are highly adaptable and conformable to the user's requirements. If you have had a bad time with Android, it's because you didn't set up your Android correctly.

      Now granted, you don't HAVE to setup an iPad, because it's got the same interface structure as the iPhone. Problem being is that you can't really modify the interface on an iPad like you can an Android. This is actually a boon for most people, however, and I can see how this makes Androids seem better. But seeming, and being, are not the same thing.

      Personally, I like both, and use both, and find that both are just as good as the other, but in different ways. To say that Android tablets have always been bad is to really move outside the field of what Androids are capable of doing.

      Finally Chromebooks are not Androids, and Google has completely separate development stacks for each. In effect, Chromebooks are the lowest end of the tablet/notebook market, but built for the most basic of usage requirements. Internet access, with some access to google docs.

      Truthfully, an Apple laptop would serve most people better in this regard, or even a modern Windows Pro tablet (although I am underwhelmed by them to be honest).

        You did see the chart, right?

        I'm sorry but Android has been bad on tablets - especially in the early days when it was vastly inferior to the iPad. Tablet apps are just better on an iPad. The other comments here support that. I don't know why you're so defensive over it - Android's biggest flaw for tablets is app support for multiple screens and scaling interfaces.

        I know Chromebooks are separate to Android but it's clear that Google are moving towards merging the two. We're approaching that point now that some Chromebooks can run Android apps.

    As someone who has access to several iPads, owns several Android Tablets, and has a Windows Pro can bugger off.

    The iPads and Android devices are still way more usable in terms of tablet capability. Windows Computers are just that, traditional PCs with some tablet capability plopped onto the side. The OS is still slow and cumbersome when compared to Android or Apple tablets. This is especially notable with Art Programs, or pretty much any program that requires a Pen interface. Android and Apple still have MS beat on this front.

      X2 on this. I haven’t really found acceptable performance on windows tablets for my uses vs the same specs on a laptop. As for android though? Nope, I don’t really think it’s a great tablet OS either. Most likely going to get an iPad Pro next instead of a laptop and just keep a power desktop.

    It comes down to apps, and which OS provides them. I use a combination of Windows (both older program and Windows 10 apps) desktop & laptop, and Android phone & tablet, and I don't really care which base OS I use, as long as I can run both sets of apps / programs on the one device.

    In most cases, there is little overlap, so that the app/program only runs on one operating system or the other - rarely both.

    Last edited 20/10/17 1:29 pm

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