Hybrid Sales Soar As The PC Gets Mobile

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Gartner report shows sales of hybrid devices rose 70 percent from last year

The ultra-competitive PC market could be about to take another major turn thanks to the growing popularity of so-called ‘hybrid devices’, new figures have suggested.

A report by from analyst firm Gartner found that sales of hybrids, which combine mobile, tablet and PC form factors, are set to hit 21.5m units this year, a 70 percent rise from last year’s figure.

And the number is only set to grow as device manufacturers seize upon the increased mobility options offered by Windows 10 to produce a wider range of devices, the report says.

All in one

asus transformer bookOverall, Asus, whose Transformer Book is pictured left and which was the first major vendor to offer a two-in-one ultramobile device, was found to be the number one vendor, taking 41 percent of the market share, followed by Lenovo (31 percent) and HP, which rose up from seventh place last year.

“The combination of portability, productivity and flexibility of touch and a keyboard in one device is attracting some notebook and tablet users to replace their devices with hybrid form factors,” said Tracy Tsai, research director at Gartner.

“PC vendors are expanding into this segment with a value proposition to compete with Apple and Android-based tablet vendors. Sales of hybrid devices have not stopped growing since 2012, totalling 12.6 million units in 2014 and expected to reach 58 million units in 2019.”

The market will see further growth, according to a Gartner survey of more than 21,000 respondents across five countries (US, China, Brazil, India and Germany) conducted in the third quarter of 2014, which showed that as many as 11 per cent of tablet users, 10 per cent of desktop users and 8 per cent of notebook users are considering replacing their current device with a hybrid device in the next two years.

The release of Windows 10 on July 29 will also offer customers a wider choice in the number of touch-enabled apps available to users of hybrid devices.

“Windows 10 on hybrid ultramobiles will offer a better user experience with touch and voice as well as universal Windows apps — apps written just once that receive device-specific user experience tweaks to allow them to run on different Windows devices,” added Tsai

Businesses will also need to prepare for the end of extended Windows 7 support by January 2020, she warned, noting that now is a good time to look beyond clamshell notebook devices to consider if other form factors will make a better productivity fit.

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