DetachableIDC forecasts that detachables, convertibles, and ultraslim notebooks will continue their expansion and make up approximately 40% of the total PC and tablet market in Western Europe by 2020.

The researcher projects continued double-digit year-on-year (YoY) growth in 2016 across all three form factors, with ultraslims expected to grow 14.2%, convertibles 20.7%, and detachables to near double with over 80% growth in 2016 YoY. This will only partly offsets the decline of more traditional form factors, such as notebooks, desktops and slate tablets. The firm forecasts a 3.7% decrease of PC and tablet shipment in the second half of 2016 (compared with the same period of 2015) and overall the market is expected to contract 6% YoY in 2016.

It says that recent announcements confirm the increased adoption of thinner, lighter, and more versatile mobile form factors by consumers and businesses. IDC anticipates a commercial segment outperforming the PC and tablet market, with 3.7% growth in the second half of 2016, compared with the same six months of 2015, and a 1.2% increase for total 2016 in Western Europe. The continuous expansion of detachables in the commercial segment and an uptake in notebook renewals are expected to be the main drivers.

“The second half of 2016 will mark yet another period of great detachable success in the enterprise space,” said Daniel Goncalves, research analyst, IDC European Personal Computing. “The wave of available devices on the market continues to increase and is accompanied by interest among enterprises for the adoption of detachables, as the form factor perfectly fits their mobility strategies. The new generation of models addresses old concerns regarding security and computing power, which is generating a very positive response in the B2B market. Notebooks are also expected to perform positively in the commercial segment, driven by the uptake in ultraslim notebooks. Mobility is a requirement of growing importance in the business sector, particularly among SMBs.”

In the consumer segment, IDC expects PC and tablet shipments to decline 10.2% in 2016 in Western Europe. Traditional notebooks will continue to decline in the second half of this year, says IDC, while ultraslim and convertible shipments will continue to grow double-digit at 20.0% and 34.9% YoY respectively.

Andrea Minonne, research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing, said: “Consumer preferences will continue to shift from traditional form factors to more portable and innovative devices. New products such as convertibles, ultraslims, and detachables are gaining ground. Vendors are increasingly developing thin, light, power-efficient, and high-performing notebooks and being a player in this market helps vendors to increase their competitiveness.”

High levels of interest in such devices will not offset the decline of the consumer PC market, which will continue throughout 2016, but they will contribute to a better performance in the overall market this year. In particular, the upcoming Christmas season will support shipments in the second half of 2016. New models will be launched between now and the end of 2016, playing a key role in reinforcing interest and stimulating consumer purchases.

On the other hand, the research firm noted, many factors are creating uncertainties and are affecting consumer consumption. Although post-Brexit effects are still intangible, the consequent weakening of the pound and price increases applied by some PC vendors might discourage consumer IT spending in the UK, which is expected to marginally impact the overall Western European results.

But IDC also predicts that detachables, ultraslims, and convertible notebooks will continue to experience interesting growth in Western Europe and will continue to progress throughout 2016. IT notes that these are strategic products for vendors as they address business and consumer mobility needs well and bring a competitive edge and high profitability.

For more, see www.idc.com.