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Apple Launch of iPad Pro Boosts Detachable Consumer Market in UK

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According to the latest figures published by International Data Corporation (IDC), the U.K. became the largest detachable market in Western Europe in the first quarter of 2016. The U.K. overtook Germany, which as expected had ended 2015 as the leading country for this form factor.

With more than 300,000 unit shipments the U.K. accounted for 23% of total detachable shipments in Europe and appears set to remain at the top of the country ranking in the short term. The introduction of the iPad Pro provided an additional boost to the detachable market and extended the customer base, with Apple reaching 21% market share.

An acceleration in adoption of mobility solutions to accompany U.K. businesses' digital transformation has fueled demand in the commercial space, where Microsoft's Surface Pro line leads with more than a third of the market. This mobility shift can also be seen in the entire smart connected device spectrum with demand from U.K. enterprises in 2016Q1 for new more mobile form factors such as detachable or slate tablets clearly outperforming demand from their European counterparts.

On the consumer side, the main factor behind the boost in detachable shipments was the introduction of the iPad Pro, which not only marked Apple's entrance into the detachable market but also secured consumer leadership for the vendor. "The shift in form factor demand that we have been observing over the last several quarters," said Marta Fiorentini, research manager, IDC EMEA Personal Computing, "is going to benefit significantly from the expansion of Apple's offering into this area, especially in a market such as the U.K., where Apple's brand awareness and loyal customer base remain strong."

The introduction of the smaller iPad Pro had only a limited effect in Q1 as the product became available to order only in the last week of the quarter and through limited channels; however, a bigger impact is expected from Q2. Even though the price difference with the iPad Air line will have an impact on demand initially, the iPad Pro 9.7in. will help sway current iPad owners to renew their existing device, especially as Apple discontinues higher-spec configurations of the models without keyboard.

Phablets continue to appeal to customers in the U.K., with sales increasing 35.4% year on year in 2016Q1 to 1.6 million units. "Samsung created the phablet category in 2012, but it was Apple that brought the category to the limelight with the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6S Plus. Both devices have helped Apple perform strongly in the phablet segment, where it holds 44% market share," said Francisco Jeronimo, research director, European Mobile Devices, IDC EMEA.

In the U.K., Apple's strong brand appeal is reflected in the entire smart connected device market - Apple leads the market in 2016Q1 with almost a third of total shipments due to strong demand for phablets, detachables and ultraslims. Samsung is second in 2016Q1, with the vendor suffering from particularly weak demand for regular smartphones and slate tablets. Apple and Samsung together account for more than half the total SCD market in the U.K. In third position, and despite not having mobile phones in its portfolio, HP Inc. improved its market share and recorded single-digit annual growth on the back of a positive PC performance and strong results in the convertible and detachable market, where the company has started to reap the benefits of an expanded and improved offering. Lenovo, in fourth place, continues to see growth in the consumer space but fares less well in the commercial sector, mostly due to an unfavorable annual comparison. Closing the top 5, LG benefits from triple-digit annual growth in the market for regular smartphones; despite a contraction in phablet shipments, it gained some market share sequentially.

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Tags: UK