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Vox Channeli: Ignore the Analysts! Channel Pros Say Tablets Are Selling Nicely

Based on the results of our latest reader survey, the many slate and 2-in-1 tablets introduced at last week’s Mobile World Congress have a better chance of finding buyers than recent data from IDC might lead you to expect.

By Rich Freeman

Based on a quick glance at the latest sales data, global consumers and business users appear to be falling out of love with tablets.

Indeed, worldwide tablet shipments declined 15.6 percent last year, according to IDC. Even tablets with detachable keyboards like Microsoft’s popular Surface devices, which had been the bright spot in an otherwise disappointing product segment, have seen slackening demand lately.

“The sentiment around the tablet market continues to grow stale despite a lot of talk about vendors pivoting their product portfolios toward the detachable segment,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers, in a press release. “Typical tablets without a dedicated keyboard, which IDC refers to as slate tablets, are continuing to lose relevancy across all regions and, as a result, we see the decline happening globally.”

That hasn’t stopped mobile hardware makers from shipping plenty of new tablets, however. At last week’s Mobile World Congress, to cite but three examples, Samsung introduced its new Galaxy Tab S3 slate, Lenovo unveiled its new 10.1-inch Miix 320 detachable, and HP announced its new Pro x2 612 G2, a detachable offering up to 11 hours of battery life.

So how well are those and other recent tablets likely to sell?

If you believe the analysts, the answer is probably “meh.” If you believe ChannelPro readers, on the other hand, the tablet world’s newest products have a legitimate shot at success.

That’s based on the results of our latest reader poll, in which we asked survey respondents who sell mobile hardware (about 43 percent of the total sample, by the way) how both 2-in-1 tablets with removable keyboards and slate tablets are faring with buyers at present. Here’s what they told us:

 Vox Channeli: Ignore the Analysts! Channel Pros Say Tablets Are Selling Nicely

Well, how about that? Just under 70 percent of participants in our survey say detachable tablets are selling well, and 36.8 percent say slates like the Apple iPad are selling well. And despite the gloomy sales figures for tablets of both varieties, a mere 1 percent of the mobile device resellers we polled don’t bother offering tablets at all.

Take that, IDC! In the SMB space, at least, it appears demand for tablets is hanging in surprisingly strong.

About the Author

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor