The expected arrival of a 12.9in Apple iPad Pro in the coming months will help drive the uptake of larger-screen tablets, particularly in the enterprise market, according to a report by Strategy Analytics.
The firm said that, alongside the likes of the Surface Pro 3 and other 2-in-1 detachables, the iPad Pro will help create a new market for tablets, which will become more about content creation than consumption.
Strategy Analytics predicts that 19.3 million tablets with screen sizes of 11in or larger will ship by 2019, double the figure in 2015 and helping to claim a seven percent share of the market.
This growth will come at the expense of smaller 7in-7.9in tablets, which will see their share of the market fall from 45 percent in 2015 to 30 percent in 2019.
The other cause of this decline in market share will be the increased purchase of tablets with 8in-8.9in screens, which will grow from 21 percent of the market in 2015 to 31 percent in 2019.
Eric Smith, tablet and touchscreen strategies senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said it is clear that the current tablet market for smaller devices is being attacked from both sides by larger phones and larger tablets.
“Just as phablets have eaten away at the smaller end of the tablet spectrum, the gulf between PCs and tablets is shrinking every day. Major vendors are pushing the boundaries of all three major mobile operating systems and hardware configurations to transform the tablet into a content creation device,” he said.
Smith added that this push towards tablets that offer a mix of productivity and content consumption will be especially welcome in the business world.
"The ultra-portability and versatility of 2-in-1 tablets and premium slates like Surface Pro 3 and iPad Pro will enable the tablet to increasingly serve new market segments, such as field work, healthcare, retail point of sale, education and even desk work."
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