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Detachables set for a strong second half

An analysis of the PC hardware market from IDC indicates that the second half should see rising demand for detachables

The second half of this year should be one that features more demand for detachables with that form factor again attracting customers.

The first six months of the year might have been ones that saw the tablet and PC market return negative growth, with a 10.8% year-on-year decline being forecast, but there were some areas that were lights in the darkness.

IDC's analysis of the UK PC market included some positive comments about the demand for thin and light form factors, with mobility driving further investment in those products in the months ahead.

As well as customers looking for products that help in their digital transformation strategy the analyst house noted that vendors are also delivering high-end machines to try to offset the low profits that come in the entry-level end of the market.

"There were several factors affecting the performance of detachables in the U.K. in the last six months," said Daniel Gonçalves, senior research analyst, Western Europe Personal Computing Devices, IDC. "Firstly, the replacement of notebooks by Windows-based detachables eased off, as the benefits have not been seen to be clear enough. Secondly, there was a growing focus on convertibles by many prominent OEMs and this has had some negative impact on detachables. Lastly, there was a longer than usual period during which major detachable brands capable of boosting demand weren't updated."

Another boon to the detachables market was the popularity of Windows 10, which lends itself as an operating system for detachables.

"We are confident that the number of new models being introduced will help boost shipments from the second half of 2017," he said.

Breaking that down into specific product segments the analyst house is predicting that ultraslims are expected to increase 9.8% year-on-year and convertibles by 28.9%.

IDC expects the three form factors combined (ultraslims, convertibles, and detachables) to account for around 30% of the total PCD market in the UK this year, which is up from 25% in 2016.

Other devices in the PC market are going to be hit by ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, exchange rate fluctuations and public spending cuts will squeeze some buyers in that vertical.

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