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Panasonic’s new rugged 2-in-1 detachables reflect European market demand for hybrid mobile devices


Hybrid mobile devices to reach a European tipping point in 2017, reports IDC Europe

Bracknell, UK. 22nd MARCH 2017 Panasonic’s latest rugged 2-in-1 detachables reflect European business demand for hybrid mobile devices with display sizes of 12-13.3 inches, according to the latest findings from analyst group IDC Europe. The recently introduced fully rugged Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 with a 12 inch display and the semi rugged Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 with a 12.5 inch display are both 2-in-1 detachables offering the best of both worlds with tablet and notebook functionality in a single business device.

In an IDC whitepaper, published today by Panasonic at the German technology show CeBIT, the analyst group predicts that IT buyers will be equipping their mobile workforces with more detachable mobile devices in 2017. With an increased awareness of the need for data entry and content creation to improve productivity, the predicted screen size sweet spot for these devices will be displays of 12-13.3 inches. Above and beyond the type of tablet device chosen, ruggedisation is the most important additional device feature mentioned by business buyers.

In the whitepaper, entitled Why Tablets Can Successfully Transform your Business, IDC Europe draws on its own research of 1,203 IT decision makers and line-of-business managers to predict 2017 to be a tipping point, with hybrid form factors anticipated to account for more than half of the tablets that enterprises in the UK, France, and Germany intend to purchase.

Its findings show tablets are a 2017 IT spending priority for 60% of companies and the majority of respondents plan to deploy tablets in the short to mid-term. Among those that already have tablets, more than 80% plan to expand their existing deployment, while over 50% of those who have not yet purchased tablets are evaluating or have plans to deploy.

Demand & display sweet spot
Deployment plans showed strong demand for detachables in 2017 with their percentage predicted to rise 3% to 28% of total tablets purchased whilst tablet slates albeit growing in volume terms will see their share fall 8% to 48%. Displays between 12 and 13.3in are preferred when detachables replace existing portables, with almost half choosing this screen size range, followed by 1 in 4 selecting detachables with a screen larger than 13.3in.

Panasonic reflects market demand
Speaking about the introduction of its two latest 2-in-1 detachable devices, Jan Kaempfer, General Manager of Marketing for Panasonic Computer Product Solutions, said: “Combining the desired larger screen size with the versatility of a detachable keyboard and a tablet that can be used in multiple modes enables the devices to meet a variety of business needs. With the wide range of business ports, customisation options and long battery life, the latest Panasonic devices are suitable for mobile workers in a wide range of sectors including emergency services, government, defense, manufacturing, utilities and telecommunications”.

A maturing approach
“As new generations of convertible and detachable devices have top-of-the-range business specs and similar processing capabilities to traditional notebooks, these hybrid form factors can combine the advantages of clamshell notebooks with the benefits of mobile devices in a single platform and can be used to replace traditional notebooks as the primary and only computing device rather than in addition to them – thereby helping to reduce IT costs and complexities,” said Marta Fiorentini, Consulting Manager at IDC Europe.

Main deployment drivers
The main driver for the deployment of all tablet formats is productivity (70%), followed by employee mobility and flexibility and collaboration.

The most important tablet feature is long battery life, followed by touch screen responsiveness, and in third place outdoor readable screen and cellular connectivity on par.

Ruggedisation is the most important add-on features, followed by a scanner for QR and Barcodes, a high resolution front and back camera and in fourth position a credit/smart card reader.

Vehicle mounts
Within organisations that have deployed tablets, IDC found that vehicle-mounted solutions account for around 20% of tablets. Among the main drivers behind the decision to adopt a vehicle-mounted solution are the need for a secure place to store the tablet when the worker is not in the vehicle (57%) and the limited access to work-related applications from the vehicle (56%), followed by limited or unstable in-vehicle connectivity (54%). Companies also look for efficiency together with safety and certifications in a vehicle-mounted solution, followed by power management and longevity.

The whitepaper is available from the Panasonic stand in the Japan Pavilion, at Hall 4 of the CeBIT show running from March 20-24, 2017 in Hanover, Germany. It can also be downloaded at: http://business.panasonic.co.uk/computer-product/whitepapers

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