Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies

Tracking and analysis of adoption and use cases for tablets in the home, on the move and at work.

March 30, 2015 16:03 esmith

Following the news from MWC earlier this month that Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones would come preloaded with Office apps, Microsoft announced last week that a dozen hardware vendors would do the same for their Android Tablets starting in the first half of 2015. Samsung (for select models), Dell, Pegatron, and the following eight regional vendors are all part of Microsoft’s continued push into mobile:


  • TrekStor of Germany
  • JP Sa Couto of Portugal
  • Datamatic of Italy
  • DEXP of Russia
  • Hipstreet of Canada
  • QMobile of Pakistan
  • Tecno of Africa
  • Casper of Turkey


In addition to these vendors on the consumer side, Samsung B2B channel customers will have a choice of Office 365 packages along with Samsung’s Knox security service. We would expect more of these partnerships in the enterprise space to boost the credibility of Tablets as productivity machines and to promote Microsoft as a key part of the growing enterprise Tablet segment.


This bodes well for Microsoft in a few ways. First, it makes Office (thus Microsoft) relevant for mobile-first users who either rely on Google apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides or don’t use productivity apps at all on Tablets. Second, it pushes Tablets closer to being seen as something beyond casual, entertainment devices. As software developers make it easier and more efficient to create content on Tablets, the more consumers will begin to use them for productivity needs. Office is one of Microsoft’s key strengths, but until recently it has largely been a PC-centric property. Office has been free on Android and iOS since November 2014, but pre-loading Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype on Android Tablets removes the burden of app discovery from the consumer and reinforces that strength of Office into the mobile world.


This move is in addition to recent promotions for OneDrive by offering free extra storage for registering with Bing Rewards or for Dropbox customers earlier in the year. Microsoft’s mobile-first and cloud-first strategy eschews old ideas of license fees and pricey software suites and instead makes room for the freemium model in Office apps and OneDrive cloud storage as well as the Windows-as-a-service concept of Windows 10. While we expect that Windows Tablets will gain a modest bump in market share in the years following the Windows 10 release, Microsoft’s moves in mobile software on Android and iOS (Office became free downloads for both OSes in the last year) could be just as monumental.


- Eric

August 20, 2014 15:18 mwilkins

Following on from a promising start to the Tablet market in Q1 2014, the Q2 Tablet market was up 4.7% to 52.4 million units globally, according to new research from Strategy Analytics Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies service.

Again we saw a mixed bag of results from the Top 5 vendors in Q2 2014, with only Asus and Lenovo able to grow volumes relative to Q2 2013. Both Apple and Samsung - the no.1 and no.2 ranked vendors – saw Q2 2014 Tablet volumes fall relative to those from Q2 2013.

The reality is that in the second quarter of 2014, Apple and Samsung still hold a firm grip on the global Tablet market, as their combined shipments made up 41% of the global market. However Strategy Analytics expects the situation in 2H 2014 to improve, particularly in Q4 due to new models being introduced and year-end seasonal promotions.


For more information on Strategy Analytics Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies service, click here.

July 25, 2014 09:41 mwilkins

NVIDIA continues to extend its gaming reach with the launch of the gaming-focussed SHIELD Tablet, the latest in a long line of embellishments to its position as a leading supplier of GPUs and SoCs to PCs, laptops, smartphones, mobile games consoles, and tablets. The SHIELD Tablet itself is well specified for its base price point of $299 and with it NVIDIA seeks to expand a niche segment of gaming tablets much more along the lines of the matured PC market. Further insight and analysis on this topic can be found in our published report here: NVIDIA Plays to Gamers with 8-in SHIELD Tablet.

June 18, 2014 16:09 mwilkins

The Tablet market kicked-off with a promising start to 2014, as Global Tablet shipments grew 17% over the the first quarter of 2013, at 56.7 million units. Despite the headline growth figure, the dynamics of the Top 5 vendors were somewhat mixed, as only Samsung and Lenovo saw their shipments grow over their Q1 2013 volumes. Apple, Asus, and Amazon all saw shipment volumes lower than they achieved in Q1 2013.

Most notably, market leader Apple saw Q1 2014 Tablet sell-in volumes down by 16%, although the company stated in its financial call that sell-through was actually down only 3% relative to Q1 2013. Yet the companies grip on the premium segment of the tablet market was demonstrated by the fact that Apple actually increased its wholesale average selling price (ASP) by 5% relative to Q4 2013.

Conversely the no.2 ranked Samsung did not experience a fall in volume relative to Q1 2013, as the company produced Tablet unit growth of 40% over the same period last year, with shipments of 12.8 million. Similarly Lenovo, who moved into the no.3 ranking in Q1 2014, produced Tablet volume growth of 150% compared to Q1 2013. However despite its impressive growth rate, Lenovo is working from a smaller base, shipping 2.3 million units in Q1 2014 compared to 0.9 million in Q1 2013.

The operating system story in the first quarter of 2014 reflected Apple's drop in volume, as iOS Tablets were down 16%. However Android continued to march on, growing its share of the global tablet market from 53% in Q1 2013, to 66% in Q1 2014. Android continues to benefit from its high penetration of the entry-level and ultra-low price tiers (tablets costing less than $250 at wholesale), an area in which Apple does not play.

Despite naysayers predicting the end of the Tablet growth boom, we offer the following to the contrary: the Q1 2014 global tablet market was almost 20% larger than it was a mere 12 months ago, despite the no.1 vendor suffering a decline in shipments.

November 14, 2013 16:41 mwilkins

NVIDIA has designed its own 7-in Android Tablet, the Tegra Note 7, powered by its Tegra 4 processor, and brought to market by U.S. and UK partners EVGA and Advent. The Note 7 begins shipping on November 15th, retailing at US$199 and £179.

The Note 7 features a 7-in 1280 x 800 display, 16GB of storage, NVIDIA’s own DirectStylus technology, and ships with the popular Camera Awesome app included. While the device uses a custom Android ROM, its sticks pretty close to the standard Android look and feel.

We found the Note 7 to perform well in gaming, with some particularly nice water reflection effects in Dead Trigger 2 from Madfinger Games. When used in conjunction with Nyko’s GamePad Pro, for which connection and configuration was quick and easy, the Note 7 provides an enjoyable gaming experience (the GamePad Pro also works with other Android tablets). The Note 7 shows just what a sub-$200 tablet is capable of, and TegraZone will appeal to tablet gamers by conveniently showing them optimized content for their device.

The area where we thought the device was lacking is screen resolution. At 1280 x 800 it doesn’t offer the same resolution as other tablets launched in 2013, such as the 2013 Nexus 7, which provides a 1080p display. However in a recently published forecast from Strategy Analytics Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies service of Tablet Shipments by Screen Size, we expect the 7-in category to show impressive growth in 2013. The Note 7 will play directly into this growth segment.

February 15, 2013 17:47 nmawston

There has been intense speculation in the global media this week that Nokia will launch its first Lumia tablet with a Microsoft operating system at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, between February 25th to 28th, 2013.

Following extensive channel checks by our Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies (TTS) service, we understand Nokia will not unveil a tablet with a Microsoft operating system at this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC).

We believe Nokia's strategy will be "smartphones first" for MWC this year.

And rightly so. Nokia will want to expand its Lumia smartphone range and solidify its growing leadership of the global WP8 market

Tablet fans will need to be a little more patient!

October 25, 2012 21:33 nmawston

According to the latest research from our Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies (TTS) service, global tablet shipments reached 25 million units in the third quarter of 2012. Apple iOS slipped to 57 percent global market share, allowing Android to capture a record 41 percent share.

Peter King, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global tablet shipments reached 24.7 million units in Q3 2012, rising a sluggish 43 percent from 17.2 million in Q3 2011. Demand for tablets slowed due to ongoing economic uncertainty and consumers holding off purchases in anticipation of multiple new models, like the iPad Mini, during the upcoming Q4 holiday season. Apple shipped a disappointing 14.0 million iPads worldwide and captured 57 percent share in the third quarter of 2012, dipping from 64 percent a year ago. Apple’s slowdown allowed the Android community to make gains and Android’s global share of the tablet market now stands at a record 41 percent.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Android captured a record 41 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q3 2012, jumping from 29 percent a year earlier. Global Android tablet shipments doubled annually to 10.2 million units. No single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms at the moment, but the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners, such as Asus, Samsung and Nook, is helping Google’s Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets.”

Other findings from the research include:

  • Global tablet shipments grew just 43 percent annually in Q3 2012, compared with 289 percent annually in Q2 2011. This was the weakest growth rate since the modern tablet industry began in Q2 2010;
  • Microsoft captured a niche 2 percent global tablet share in Q3 2012. The imminent release of the new Windows 8 operating system will likely drive Microsoft tablet volumes higher during the Q4 2012 holiday season.

Exhibit 1: Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2012 [1]


Global Tablet OS Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q3 '11

Q3 '12

Apple iOS
















Global Tablet OS Market Share %

Q3 '11

Q3 '12

Apple iOS
















Total Growth Year-over-Year %




[1] Shipments refer to sell-in. Numbers are rounded. The definition of tablet does not include e-book readers.



October 23, 2012 20:36 pking

As we suggested over four months ago, Apple today announced the iPad Mini family. With a screen size of 7.9 inches, 7.2mm thick, 0.68lbs in weight, it is as thin as a pencil and easy to hold in one hand. A quick spec list is; Dual Core A5 processor, 1024 x 768 (same pixel count as iPad2), FaceTime HD camera, 5MP iSight camera on the back, LTE in the cellular versions, Lightning connectors and 10 hours battery life.

The configurations are much the same as all the earlier versions, starting with a 16GB Wi-Fi only version for $329 and $459 for the cellular version, and then running at $100 increments through 32GB and 64GB. The Wi-Fi versions start shipping on November 2nd and the cellular versions about two weeks later.

So, apart from the price being maybe $30 higher than we first anticipated, there are no real surprises, and these devices have long been factored into our forecasts.

The big question now, of course, is how consumers will make purchase decisions on the current range of hot 7 inch tablets; these include the Google Nexus 7 ($199 for 16GB), the Kindle Fire family (7 inch Fire HD at $199, 8.9 inch Fire HD $299), the B&N Nook HD 16GB at $229). All these devices will be available in November; each has both its strengths and its weaknesses. To those who study the purchase, the ecosystem will be important ? should I go for an iPad app device (275,000 available) or, should I go for a newer technology where there are less apps, or some of the apps were designed for phones, or should I not worry about apps and content at all and just save $100 or so? What about size, the 7 inch device is neat and fits in my jacket pocket, but I get a lot more screen real estate (approximately 35%) on a 7.9 inch, important when it comes to surfing and so on, even if it will not fit in my pocket?

It is perhaps a pity that the other tablets did not have an iPad Mini free run, so that they could get established. As it is, yes they will all sell some, their aggressive pricing will definitely appeal to budget restricted buyers and ensure that they do get some market traction, but given that the market leader, who has already sold 100 million iPads, has now entered the 7 inch arena, the bar has been raised again for Google, Amazon and B&N.

October 18, 2012 10:57 nmawston

Rumors are emerging that Google will co-produce a Nexus Android tablet with Quanta and WonderMedia that will retail for under US$100 in Q4 2012. If the rumor is correct, it is likely to be available to entry-level consumers in developing and perhaps developed markets in Q4 2012.

Three initial points of analysis from our Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies (TTS) service:

1. Android is engaging in a race to the bottom on pricing. Google wants to force down Nexus pricing to attack rivals like Apple;

2. The profitability of such an ultra-low-price Nexus tablet is going to be modest at best;

3. The usability of such a low-price WiFi tablet will be questionable. Compromises will inevitably be made on component quality to minimize costs.

More analysis of ultra-low tablet sales by region can be viewed by clients here.

October 9, 2012 12:25 nmawston

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Apple is rumored to have ordered global production of 10 million Apple iPad Minis for delivery in Q4 2012. That is a number which chimes broadly with this report we published on our Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies (TTS) service back in June 2012. The rumors of an 8-inch iPad Mini have been circling for some time and the hype is now starting to reach fever pitch as an expected October / November launch approaches. For sure, an entry-mid-level WiFi tablet market is rapidly emerging in both developed and developing countries. For example, Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7 are actively targeting US consumers with smaller screens, while Micromax is beginning to gain solid traction across India with several 7-inch models. Will the iPad Mini launch with 3G cellular connectivity as a differentiator? Probably not, due to cost reasons, but it will almost certainly be tetherable to 3G hotspot cellphones. More analysis of cellular tablets, and tablet sales by display size, can be viewed by clients here and here.