The latest research bulletin by Gartner claims that hybrid PC sales are to accelerate this year and that by the end of 2015 a whopping 70 per cent more will have shipped than during the previous year. In actual sales numbers projections indicate that 2015 will see 21.5 million units sold. The hybrid ultramobile PC is the fastest growing segment of the market accounting for 12 per cent of mobile PC sales by the end of this year.
A tale of two two-in-ones
It's interesting to see that Gartner, and probably other market researchers, split hybrid devices into further subcategories. Tracy Tsai, research director at Gartner, accounted for the 21.5 million projected sales of such devices as follows: "Of the 21.5 million hybrid devices shipped in 2015, 8 million will be ultramobile tablets (two-in-one tablets) and 13.5 million hybrid ultramobiles (two-in-one detachable and convertible ultramobiles). This will make hybrid ultramobiles the fastest-growing segment of the mobile PC market with 77 percent year-on-year growth". The attractiveness of these computers bringing "portability, productivity and flexibility of touch and a keyboard in one device," is highly enticing to people who are seeking to replace current machines.
Looking back at the success of hybrids it was noted that PC vendors have started to compete with Android and Apple tablets and hybrid device sales have been on the up since as far back as 2012. If the market keeps moving as expected there will be 58 million hybrids sold in 2019. Despite this pincer movement from 'two-in-one tablets' and 'two-in-one detachables', clamshell laptops will remain dominant, says the researcher. Clamshells will end up accounting for 87 per cent of mobile PC sales this year lowering to 74 per cent in 2019.
Coming up shortly we will see a big rise in Windows 10 PC shipments and Intel Core M processor equipped devices. Both these influlences will help accelerate the sales of hybrids thinks Gartner. Windows 10 could mean a big change for enterprises and businesses who have thus far shunned touchscreens as they cling onto Windows 7 and traditional applications. Intel Core M helps systems designers strike a good balance between performance, battery life and form factors.
Gartner looked at which systems makers are doing the best from the move towards hybrid devices. The researchers say that ASUS is leading the hybrid ultramobile market and did so in 2014 too. Gartner thinks ASUS needs to "broaden the price bands it addresses," to make the most of its lead. Lenovo is the No. 2 hybrid vendor and HP the third biggest player. Microsoft was number one tablet ultramobile vendor with 36 per cent of that market last year.
Are any of you considering buying a new portable PC in the next few months looking at hybrids as much as traditional clamshell laptops?