2018 rugged tablet retrospective and 2019 outlook

handheld algiz 8x in warehouse
Written by David Krebs

By: David Krebs VDC Research


The rugged tablet market

The global market for tablets has changed significantly over the past several years. While consumer demand for tablets has largely petered, the opportunity in the enterprise – in particular for ruggedized devices – remains strong.

Looking forward to 2022, VDC Research anticipates the overall opportunity for enterprise/government issued tablets to scale from 7.3 million units in 2018 and reach 8.3 million units by 2022.

Tablet use cases are emerging across most sectors, supporting a wide variety of applications, in particular in customer or asset-facing workflows. The competitive environment is increasingly active with new entrants and acquisitions altering the landscape.

The Handheld Algiz 8X rugged tablet stands for portable and powerful field computing.

Key market expectations

  • The rugged tablet market – including slate and 2-in-1 detachable form factors – is expected to reach almost $1 billion by 2022, growing by a CAGR of 5.7%. Rugged 2-in-1 detachable tablets is the fastest growing segment, projected to reach 21.4% of spend by 2022.
  • The corresponding opportunity for non-rugged tablets supporting enterprise and government workflows is estimated to hit $1.7 billion by 2022.
  • The rugged tablet market remains very much aligned with the PC market, with Windows 10 and x86 processor architectures dominating. However, Android is making in-roads, in particular as the the Android OS is gaining greater acceptance to support enterprise workloads.
  • Cellular connectivity – and activation – is significantly higher for rugged tablets in comparison to non-rugged devices. Approximately 51% of rugged tablets shipped have active cellular connections.
  • 10-12.9” devices are still the norm for organizations utilizing rugged tablets, accounting for approximately 71% of total shipments. Although this is not expected to change materially over the forecast period, demand for tablets with smaller displays is outpacing the overall market.
  • The non-rugged consumer grade tablet differs the rugged market with greater adoption of tablets with smaller displays (<10”). Moreover, cellular attach rates are significantly lower at approximately 20% of units.

By: David Krebs VDC Research