Dell sees profit in 2-in-1 laptops as tablets sales witness a worldwide decline

Even as the 2-in-1 laptop segment continues to increase, American computer maker Dell expects growth in tablets to slow down in the next few years.

James Johnston, general manager-client solutions, Dell Asia Pacific and Japan said, “The growth in 2-in-1(detachable devices) has a small base, but is rapidly accelerating, while tablets are in decline as smartphones pick up.”

He said that the market, which is largely distributed into the consumer and commercial categories, is witnessing a decline in the tablet or slate form. “In the commercial market, it is only around 50% of the total space. The commercial market is seeing a stronger growth in 2-in-1 devices,” Johnston said. “The slate form factor is migrating up to bigger devices, as smartphones continue to get bigger. We expect a significant growth coming out of the 2-in-1s in the commercial space over the next three-five years,” he said.

According to an IDG report, pure slate tablets saw their sharpest decline of 21.1% till date in February, as compared to a year ago. Johnston said tablet sales to individual consumers are either flat or falling. “Globally, the compound growth rates are about 15% in 2-in-1and between 0.5% and 1% for slates,” he said, refusing to share specific data related to India.

However, Johnston said that the Indian client business that he manages has been developing well, outdoing the market over the past 12 quarters across segments and is expected to continue to grow quickly.

He added that the company isn’t writing off personal computers just yet, as 2-in-1 devices are still a big area of focus for Dell. “People have been predicting the decline of PC since the past 10 years. There are periods where the market isn’t growing but there is a huge amount of inorganic growth. The market is consolidating at an increased rate over the past three years,” he said.