Fujitsu Siemens Computers claims to have shifted upwards of 40,000 tablet PCs in EMEA last year, an increase of 15,000 units on 2004 and which makes it the region’s number one in the market, the vendor has said.
The figures do suggest an upturn in the take up of tablets in the region.
Tablet PCs were introduced in November 2002 and after a year of solid growth in 2003 sales slowed down dramatically in 2004, particularly in the EMEA region. But modest growth hasn’t stopped industry analysts like IDC from forecasting considerable long-term growth potential, citing new tablet designs, long-life batteries, continued operating system enhancements and lower prices as primary drivers.
Tablet PCs accounted for just 1.5% of notebook PCs sold worldwide last year, IDC now says, and makers shipped nearly 1 million tablet PC units in 2005 and are forecast to hit 1.9 million units this year.
According to a latest study carried out by Canalys across Europe, Fujitsu has a 50% share in the EMEA territories. In earlier figures released by IDC, Toshiba was found to be a head of the pack of vendors selling tablet PCs in the US with around a 34% share, and some ten percentage points ahead of Hewlett-Packard.
To date, the devices have found market appeal among healthcare, education and the insurance sectors. Tablet PC vendors are proposing to broaden the appeal of the form factor with ultramobile alternatives that are larger than a PDA but smaller and lighter than current generation tablets.