Latest data from IDC suggest that convertibles will transform current tablet sales: the current sales drop this year (5.9% from 2015) will stop next year with “single-digit growth in 2017“. That growth will have a leader: Windows.
Microsoft’s operating system is leading this market now, but it will do with even more strength in the next few years, increasing the gap with iOS and Android.
The latter will probably have the same problems on convertibles that it has shown on regular tablets. Not many applications take advantage of the tablet and that’s a real issue for users that can enjoy a better software catalog for tablets both on Windows and, of course, iOS.
But there’s another problem coming: productivity. Last year Pixel C showed promise, but in the first reviews it was clear that Android was not a good match for a convertible. It wasn’t then, and it won’t be this year despite the current discount in price.
The reason is again clear: Android N is available for developers and supports several devices (Pixel C included), but the only real feature that will enhance that productivity scenario is the new multiwindow support. It’s nice to have that finally -one year after iOS introduced it-, but it’s far from enough. Again.
When you are in front of a convertible with a laptop and a touchpad (not in this case), you want a laptop experience, not a tablet experience. That’s the one we actually are productive with. So I’d ask Google why are they being so stingy and so shy in their convertible bet.
Considering the rumors about an Android and Chrome OS merger, these are not good news. I would expect much more from Google.