Dell has announced that it will be pulling away from its pure tablet offerings, and instead moving towards Windows 10 2-in-1s as its primary product portfolio shifts focus from slate tablets to 2-in-1 devices when it comes to business customers.
In a blog post, Kirk Schell, the Vice President and General Manager for Dell's commercial business, explained the reasoning behind its preference of the Windows 2-in-1 market over that of tablets, such as Android. Kirk stated two reasons which made up the decision:
1) we see the trends in the numbers and will continue to focus on growing our PC business, and 2) we believe in the flexibility and functional design of 2-in-1 systems for commercial use.
The company believes that 2-in-1 devices offer more flexibility for businesses, where having just a touchscreen or just a keyboard is not enough - you need the best of both worlds, as each task can require a differing set of inputs. This leads to the device being more functional and flexible for enterprises. 2-in-1 devices allow the user to choose their operating mode - you want to use a tablet? Sure, flip it into tablet mode. Oh, you need a full keyboard now? Got it. It gives the user choice and flexibility based on the task that they need to complete at any one time.
Dell has also taken a look at the market trends for tablet and PC sales. Noting that "only 17 percent of consumer respondents in mature markets intend to buy a tablet in the next 12 months," according to Gartner. Overall, the firm believes that the tablet market is over saturated and is "experiencing declining demand."
Interestingly, Kirk took a small dig at Apple's iPad, stating:
It’s been a full decade since the iPad was originally introduced and predicted to completely consume the PC market, but PCs not only remain the preferred devices for real work, they’re also on the rebound.
That statement rings true. iPad sales haven't consumed the PC market. Dell believes the PC market is rebounding.
For awhile now, market research firms such as Gartner and IDC have been reporting that PC sales will continue to fall. Yet we're seeing Dell saying PC sales are on the rebound, although, not necessarily in the same form factor that we're used to seeing, such as the desktop PC. Instead, we're seeing 2-in-1 PCs picking up the slack from the falling desktop sales. The increase interest in 2-in-1 devices can be good news for Microsoft, who wants to reach 1 billion Windows 10 installations within 2-3 years of its launch, likewise, it could also be good for its Windows Store. The Windows Store looks to grow as 2-in-1 devices would have not only a use for standard Win32 programs, but also for apps - so that users can freely switch between their preference, depending on whether they're in tablet or laptop mode.