Microsoft was pretty much the inventor of the modern 2-in-1 form factor, and Apple joined it a few years later with the iPad Pro.

And it’s these two companies the ones that drive the market forward, with an IDC report revealing that detachable tablets returned to growth in the past holiday season.

Sales of these devices worldwide reached 6.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2017, and this is an increase of 10.3% year-over-year. The overall growth in 2017 totaled 1.6%, but this is down from 24% growth in the previous year.

IDC says the slower growth is mostly the result of premium devices like Microsoft’s Surface receiving upgrades later than expected.

“To date, much of the trajectory of the detachable market has been attributed to Microsoft and Apple pushing their wares in the U.S.,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. “However, continued success of this category hinges on the willingness of other PC vendors to participate and more importantly, consumers from other countries to adopt the new form factor over convertible PCs.”

Apple leading the charts once again

As far as the numbers are concerned, Apple was the leading company during the quarter with 13.2 million units shipped and a market share of 26.6%, up from 24.3% in the same quarter of 2016. Amazon was the runner-up with 7.7 million sold units and 15.6% share, followed by Samsung with 7 million units and 14.1% share.

A total of 43.1 million standard tablets were sold during the quarter, pushing the overall figures for the year to 141.7 million units. End-user demand declined substantially, IDC says, and is down 7.6% from the previous year.

When it comes to 2017 sales, Apple is again the top company with 43.8 million units, followed by Samsung with 24.9 million units and Amazon with 17.7 million units.

Total sales in the 2-in-1 market
Total sales in the 2-in-1 market

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