Enterprise Mobility & the Connected Worker Blog

Overall Tablet Growth Tempered, but Enterprise Opportunities Remain

by Cameron Roche | 08/26/2016

While the global tablet market opportunity is expected to contract through 2020, enterprise line of business (LoB) deployments provide a bright spot for growth. In fact, for LoB tablets in enterprise and government industries/sectors, the number of units shipped is expected to grow to nearly 8.7 million by 2020, up from 7.4 million units in 2015 (CAGR of 3.3%).

While rugged and consumer grade tablet deployments to enterprise LoB contexts are set to experience growth over the next five years, each specific industry will see different outcomes based on demand and requirements within each ecosystem. Of the nine industry sectors forecasted by VDC Research, six are set to experience total revenue shipment growth for tablets through 2020, while three will witness overall revenue shipments contraction over that same time period. For example, as seen in the figure above, the sectors which are forecasted to see the greatest revenue growth for tablets include transportation, growing to $1.4 billion over the next five years, as well as retail and hospitality, set to grow to $715 million over the same period. Other industries slated to experience growth over the next five years include: warehousing & distribution centers, healthcare, field services, and direct store delivery (DSD).

Figure 1:  Top Industries for Tablet Revenue Shipment Growth Through 2020


The customer-facing nature of the transportation, retail and hospitality industries are an ideal fit for the ergonomic design of a tablet. Furthermore display size of tablets enable employees to better engage with customers on a large, easily readable display. The days of sales associates having to run to the back room to check on item stock are starting to fade into the not-so-distant past. Now, associates have the capabilities to interact with customers while checking inventory in real time.

Look for more sheltered physical environments within these verticals, such as inside a store, hotel, or restaurant, to allow consumer grade tablets to become heavily entrenched. Tablets will remain popular in these communities to not only better engage with customers, but also to equip employees with additional resources about products as well as information about customers (loyalty programs, frequent flier status, electronic medical records (EMRs), etc.). Tablets, coupled with a business intelligence solution, also provide an excellent dashboarding tool for supervisors and managers to monitor organizational analytics while one the move.  

While many retailers, especially those in small business settings, are turning to tablets to serve as fixed point of sale systems, many airlines have also adopted tablets for the mPOS (mobile point of sale) capabilities in the sky due to their lightweight nature, and simple user interface. The rise in e-ticketing capabilities has also allowed the tablet form factor to flourish at sporting events and concerts, as well as on rail systems. Look for tablets to remain a critical catalyst to engaging and interfacing with customers, especially given their friendly display size and intuitive navigation.

For more detailed information, be sure to review our full report on The Global Market for Enterprise Tablets.