Australian tablet sales have continued to trend upwards with 1.64 million units sold in the second half of 2016, up 2 percent from the previous corresponding period, according to a new study by analyst firm Telsyte.
Telsyte attributes the increase to rising 2-in-1 Windows tablet sales, which accounted for 27 percent of tablets sold in 2H 2016. Slightly ahead is Android, which accounted for 29 percent of sales, while Apple remains the leader with 44 percent market share.
Sales of Windows tablets grew an estimated 60 percent from 2H 2015 to 2H 2016, while Android tablet and iPad sales slid 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
Convertible 2-in-1s across all brands and operating systems made up 30 percent of tablet sales, up from 15 percent in 2H 2015.
According to Telsyte's Australian Tablet Market Study 2017, Australians are moving "significantly" away from sub-premium or low-cost tablets, with sales of these tablets estimated to have made up less than 10 percent in 2H 2016.
Additionally, around 40 percent of Australians surveyed by Telsyte indicated they are willing to pay more for "top quality electronics".
The market for tablet-related accessories continues to be a profitable category for retailers, Telsyte's study found, with 71 percent of tablet users having purchased some form of accessory for their device.
The top add-ons in 2016 were cases and keyboard-type covers, while sales of pen input or stylus devices featured prominently for owners of 2-in-1 devices.
Currently, Australian tablet users spend on average two hours per day on their tablets, with primary usage still being at home (over 80 percent). The average time spent on 2-in-1 devices is more than three hours per day and over 30 percent of Australians use them outside of home.
In October last year, internet usage on smartphones and tablets exceeded desktop usage for the first time, accounting for 51.3 percent of worldwide internet usage compared to 48.7 percent via desktop, according to statistics from web analytics firm StatCounter.
Telsyte expects the introduction of larger format, desktop touch computers such as Microsoft's Surface Studio to boost what it describes as the "sluggish" PC market that has struggled to give users a reason to upgrade. Telsyte estimates that the average replacement cycle for PCs in Australia has now grown to 4.7 years.
At present, desktop touch computers resonate more with creative professionals, businesses, and high-end households than the mainstream buyer, Telsyte said. However, the analyst firm expects PCs with touchscreen interfaces to become more pervasive as prices come down.
Around 80 percent of ICT decision makers in Australia and New Zealand surveyed by Telsyte indicated that they are already buying or interested in buying larger format touch screen computers for their organisation.