The South African tablet market, currently dominated by Samsung and Apple, is expected to see sustained growth over the coming years, according to the latest forecasts from International Data Corporation (IDC).
The global research and advisory services firm forecasts tablet shipments into South Africa expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5% from 2014 to total 3.1 million units in 2018.
The prospects for the traditional notebook market however, appears less favourable.
The IDC pointed to the decreasing prices of tablet devices and the growing middle class in South Africa, as the drivers for sustained growth.
A substantial amount of households now own more than one tablet, and this trend is expected to increase right through to 2018, it said.
And with schools actively encouraging students to bring their own devices into the classroom for educational purposes, IDC believes education will play a key role in driving even further growth in the market over the coming years.
The anticipated growth in tablet demand between 2014 to 2018 is expected to place a considerable strain on the traditional notebook market, with shipments declining at a negative CAGR of 1.8% to total 1.5 million units in 2018.
This is mostly attributed to continued cannibalization by tablet devices, the IDC said, adding that end users are keeping hold of their traditional notebooks for much longer periods, and in some instances are shunning the purchase of traditional notebooks altogether.
“End users are instead opting for more dynamic devices such as tablets, ultraslim notebooks, and convertible notebooks,” the IDC said.
IDC believes that shipments of convertible notebooks will grow throughout the forecast period, and therefore provide some much-needed respite for the ailing notebook market.
However, this anticipated growth is strongly dependent on prices being cut, as convertible notebooks are currently too expensive for the majority of the population.
The traditional desktop market, the research firm said, will see a negative CAGR of 18.1% over the forecast period, with shipments plummeting to 171,000 units.
“This contraction can be attributed to outdated designs and the lack of touch technology, which has taken the computing world by storm in recent years,” it said.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel, however, as shipments of all-in-one desktops (devices that integrate the monitor and main PC components in one unit) are expected to increase at a CAGR of 36.3% to reach 176,000 units in 2018.