Hybrid devices are on track to record a 70 per cent jump in growth year-on-year, according to Gartner, with manufacturers such as Asus and Lenovo looking to build on a strong foundation set in 2014.Worldwide shipments are on pace to total 21.5 million units in 2015, Gartner stated, with hybrid devices to account for 12 per cent of total sales of mobile PCs.
Illustrating the increasing popularity of hybrid devices, Gartner has forecast that by 2019 they will claim a 26 per cent share of the mobile PC market.
Tracy Tsai, Gartner research director, noted that of the 21.5 million hybrid devices shipped in 2015, 8 million will be ultramobile tablets (two-in-one tablets), while 13.5 million will be hybrid ultramobiles (two-in-one detachable and convertible ultramobiles), making hybrid ultramobiles the fastest growing segment of the mobile PC market with 77 per cent year-on-year growth.
“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,” Tsai commented.
“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.”
Despite hybrid devices achieving strong growth, clamshells are set to remain the mainstream form factor, accounting for 87 per cent of mobile PCs in 2015 and 74 per cent in 2019, Gartner has forecast.
Notebook and tablet users are the primary targets for the hybrid form factor, with PC vendors expanding into these categories. Gartner research conducted last year revealed 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.
However, in the enterprise segment, IT departments have so far struggled to make a compelling case for the purchase of hybrid ultramobiles because the PC installed base is predominantly Windows 7 and legacy applications are not touch-based.
Tsai noted that this will change when businesses start to migrate to Windows 10.
“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,” she commented.