One in every 5 people in the world own a smartphone and one in every 17 own a tablet, as per Business Insider research. And according to Gartner, worldwide tablet sales grew 68% in 2013 and Android captured 62% of the market share. While sales of iPad (Apple’s tablet) grew in trickles, Android grew 127% and reached the top spot.
The tablet growth in 2013 was fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market and first time buyers. This led Android to become the No. 1 tablet operating system. But what 2013 also saw, was the re-entry of Microsoft into the tablet market rejuvenated from its past failures. While, statistics may show a market share of only 2.1% with a little over 4 million units sold, remember that they achieved this all in a year’s time. The OS was introduced into tablets early 2013. The future looks bright for the Windows 8 OS especially with the 8.1 upgrade and will soon give Android and iOS a run for their money.
Primary reasons behind these thoughts:
- Unlike 2013 where the market was looking for low-end small screen tablets, in 2014 people have showed a lot of interest in Hybrid models. And, who are the top hybrid system manufacturers? Its Lenovo, HP, Asus, Acer and Sony. Which OS do they all use? Well, its Windows 8.
- You can always debate whether Android was successful because of Samsung or Samsung was successful because of Android. Arguably, the largest seller of Android devices in the world Samsung, has also switched to Windows 8 for its hybrid devices.
Why Windows 8 tablets are becoming popular?
- Windows 8 tablets allow you to do almost anything that you can on the Windows PC or a laptop. It also lets users plug peripherals like keyboard, mouse, external drives, DVD drives etc. If you can plug anything into your PC, you can most certainly plug into your Windows tablet as well.
- Most businesses still use Microsoft products such as excel, powerpoint, word, access and others. Windows 8 is the only platform that allows you to use Microsoft office locally on your tablet.
- Windows 8 provides heavy integration with Microsoft online services. A user can easily synchronize applications and settings between a PC, laptop and tablet.
- Most of us have been using Windows since childhood, if you ever worked on Windows 7 you should speed up in Windows 8 in no time finding it easy to use.
- Tablets running Windows 8 can be built upon the same internals as the average laptop. This means they’re powerful – very powerful! Unlike an iPad, a Windows 8 Pro tablet will be able to do some intensive tasks, such as editing HD video and running applications such as Photoshop. Try doing more than the basics on other tablets and they’ll grind to a halt, on a Windows tablet they’re nice and smooth.
Impact on Mobile Landscape
Having said all that, Microsoft still has a long way to go. Android with sales of over 120 million units has a huge lead over Windows 8. We need to wait and watch, the strategy Microsoft will consider to compete in this mobility race. This definitely will impact the other mobile ecosystem players. We look at this as an opportunity for mobile technology service providers and app developers to create innovative mobile applications for individual consumers and enterprises.
Sr. Marketing Analyst, RapidValue Solutions