Tablet Hybrid devices will ship nearly 50 million units by 2018, rising from an estimated 9.5 million in 2013, said Juniper Research.
Tablet Hybrids are designed to achieve additional or improved tablet functionality through the use of accessories, or can be in the form of an Ultrabook that can have the screen removed to perform as a slate.
The research report said the tablet market is becoming increasingly diverse as new form factors emerge. This small scale evolution in the grey area between the tablet and Ultrabook market is extremely appealing to a niche demographic, mostly business users and gamers.
These demographics are also the most able and willing to spend on new devices. The latest Galaxy Tab-Pro is an example of such a proposition — a business-friendly tablet together with a dedicated keyboard and mouse.
Meanwhile, in the mainstream Tablet market, the significant drop in the price of Tablets has meant that several governments and schools are now providing students with either free or subsidized tablets. Schemes include the government of Thailand’s One Tablet PC per Child policy or the Aakash tablets subsidized by the Indian government.
Consequently, the tablet is now seen also as an educational tool in certain markets. It is also perhaps indicative that the future of education is more towards research and interactive programs.
Hybrid ASP will remain stable over the forecast period due to the more affluent demographics.
Retailers are increasingly launching low cost tablets as a gateway to their online services via widgets and pre-installed features.