Nearly a month ago, market research company IDC explained in its latest Worldwide Quarterly Tablet tracker numbers that the global tablet market was currently going through an interesting shift. Indeed, as global tablet shipments recorded an annual decline of 14.7% during Q1 2016, "detachable tablets" were the only growing segment of the tablet market thanks to "a triple-digit year-over-year growth on shipments of more than 4.9 million units". In the same report, Senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers Jitesh Ubrani released the following statement:
Apple’s recent foray into this segment has garnered them an impressive lead in the short term, although continued long-term success may prove challenging as a higher entry price point staves off consumers and iOS has yet to prove its enterprise-readiness, leaving plenty of room for Microsoft and their hardware partners to reestablish themselves.
In the UK specifically, Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 has already showed signs of early popularity with business customers. Back in February, a previous report from CRN explained that the hybrid tablet had experienced "unprecedent demand" in the country since launch, with Microsoft’s Windows and Surface Business Group lead Ryan Asdourian adding that “You often get the directors buying themselves the i7s and then buying staff the i5s, which is the run-rate business”.
Today, a new report from The Register seems to confirm the Surface Pro devices popularity among UK enterprise customers. Referring to the latest data from market research firm Canalys (Microsoft has yet to share sales numbers for its Surface line), the report explains that "Apple's iPad Pro sold 107,000 units in the UK in Q1 versus 275,000 Surface Pro devices, which was up on the 83,000 units Microsoft flogged in the year-ago quarter". The Register added:
Apple resellers have told us that price remains a hurdle for the Pro: “People don’t necessarily want to pay the price and aren’t that impressed with the pen,” said one. “Business customers want the iPad Air and education customers the Mini.”
Echoing these comments, Canalys senior analyst Tim Coulling explained to the Register that Microsoft Surface devices were an "easier sell" to businesses as they were already compatible with the existing corporate infrastructure. “One of the problems facing Apple is price, the other is familiarity and applications,” added Coulling.
While the performance of Surface Pro devices in the UK is definitely promising for the whole Surface line in other markets, Microsoft should not rest on its laurels as we're sure Apple will also keep iterating on its iPad Pro line. Do you think the Surface Pro 4 is a more versatile tool for business customers? Please let us know what you think in the comments.