Hybrid Ultramobiles Continue to Be the Fastest-Growing Segment of the Mobile PC Market
IT research company Gartner estimates that so-called “hybrid ultramobiles” will continue to be the fastest growing segment of the mobile PC market in 2015. According to Tracy Tsai, research director at Gartner, “Of the 21.5 million hybrid devices shipped in 2015, eight million will be ultramobile tablets [two-in-one tablets] and 13.5 million hybrid ultramobiles [two-in-one detachable and convertible ultramobiles].” She went on to explain that this will give hybrid ultramobiles 77 percent year-on-year growth.
Tsai attributes that market growth to ultramobiles’ “combination of portability, productivity and flexibility of touch and a keyboard in one device ... 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, totaling 12.6 million units in 2014 and expected to reach 58 million units in 2019.”
A market summary from Gartner confirms that Taiwan-based Asus was the first computer maker to debut a two-in-one ultramobile, quickly taking 41 percent of the market in 2014. According to a Gartner analysis, “To keep up its market share, Asus needs to increase investment in convertible-type hybrids with smaller screen sizes of less than 13 inches, and broaden the price bands it addresses. Currently, hybrid ultramobiles are accounting for 15 percent of Asus' mobile PC shipments in 2014, the highest mix ratio among all PC vendors.”
Gartner reports that Lenovo nabbed the second place position last year. The company shipped 1.9 million hybrid ultramobiles, an increase of 331 percent year on year. “Lenovo focused its hybrid strategy on expanding into the consumer market, and successfully increased its share of hybrid ultramobiles in North America from 6 percent in 2013 to 31 percent in 2014,” wrote the Gartner analysts.
Greg Thompson is a freelance writer based in Fort Collins, CO.