Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Boom in Detachable Tablets Is Coming

When the iPad debuted, many people assumed it would become a game-changer in higher education, driving the adoption of digital course materials due to its greater portability and lower cost compared to laptops.

That hasn’t quite happened. However, a new forecast from International Data Corp. (IDC) predicts detachable tablets (also known as hybrids) will become more popular in the next few years, according to a report in eSchool News.

Since most college students need a laptop to efficiently work on papers and homework, they may latch onto detachables as the best of both worlds. They can use the assembled machine for keyboarding activities, and detach the screen for on-the-go reading and study.

The IDC report said tablet shipments will dip this year and in 2017. However, starting in 2018 shipments will start to rise due to greater sales of detachables. At present, according to IDC, detachables make up 16% of tablet sales, but are expected to expand to 31% by 2020.

One of the reasons it will take a few years for sales of detachables to grow is that tablet users don’t see the need to replace the devices all that often, unlike cellphones. On average, users are content with their tablets for about four years before getting a new model.

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