The global industrial tablet PC market was valued at USD 816 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 1191.2 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 6.83% over the forecast period 2021 - 2026. As the supply chain is increasingly digitized, manufacturers incorporate automation and digitization to add value across their supply chain. A survey of manufacturers done by the MAPI Foundation stated that supply chain pressures are driving automation and smart technology adoption activity in the manufacturing industry to realize the actual benefits of automation and digitization to pass the gain across the value chain.
- Streamlining operations through a single access point is also becoming essential for improving timely decision-making, speed and accuracy in industrial manufacturing, enhanced factory production control, increased operational efficiency, and optimized computing performance for production data analysis. Developing economies, such as India, Brazil, and China, are focusing on the manufacturing sector to increase the industrial output to drive forward and support their economy. For instance, China aims to move up the manufacturing value chain; however, labor rates in Chinese cities have increased in the past few years, making low-cost offshoring no longer a financially viable solution in the country without significant investment in automation.
- Device manufacturers have provided a wide range of products across different pricing ranges based on the feature set included in the final product. For instance, the manufacturers may opt for the display to be a TFT, IPS as against OLED one. Also, devices can be designed with limited color support. In addition to these, the devices used in the industries are well adopted if they offer modularity functions embedded within the product. It is one of the sought-after features that the industries look for, along with device compatibility within the existing systems. The transition toward the connected M2M communication and network industry is also expected to drive the industry to adopt mobile devices in its processes. It is expected to impact the industrial tablet PC market demand positively.
- The outbreak of COVID-19 has triggered the industrial tablet PC to re-evaluate its conventional production processes, fundamentally driving the digital transformation and industry 4.0 practices across the production lines. The manufacturers are also collectively forced to devise and deploy multiple new and agile approaches to monitor product and quality control.
- The pandemic has also created economic turmoil for small, medium, and large-scale industries alike globally. Adding to the woes, the lockdowns to minimize the virus's spread resulted in the sectors taking a hit.
Key Market Trends
Transport & Logistics Holds Significant Share in Industrial Tablet PC Market
- The transport & logistics industry is observing an exponential growth of omnichannel shopping, and the high demand for faster product deliveries is redefining the supply chain distribution of consumer goods. There is an unprecedented change in shopping from multiple platforms, such as desktops to mobile devices, and stores have created the need for smarter warehouse Management to serve consumers.
- With high-performance rugged, handheld tablet PCs, transportation and logistics tasks can be accomplished efficiently, quickly, and securely. Rugged tablets guarantee real-time communication and feedback, proper resource utilization, and staff management. The e-commerce industry has been one of the crucial benefactors of industrial tablet PC. For instance, Amazon witnessed a steep growth in revenues and market sales of USD 386.06 billion in 2020.
- Passenger tracking and monitoring are crucial in the transportation industry, monitored through rugged tablet PCs. Passenger tracking helps to understand the number of passengers traveling in a particular route every day. In turn, this becomes easier for fleet managers to allocate the appropriate number of motor vehicles that can serve a specific route maximally.
- In transportation and supply chain applications, rugged display tablets are used for multiple use cases like RFID and barcode scanning, credit card processing, management of retaining inventory, storage, exchange, line busting, mPOS, promotion tracking, NFC transactions, customer feedback gathering, and so on. The growing number of warehouses and increasing investment in advanced logistic centers expand the studied market scope.
- The Swedish chain store Jula implemented rugged tablets in its warehouse to streamline order picking and truck loading. The company uses the pick-by-voice system to keep workers' hands-free to operate machinery and handle goods. It also installed 25 more rugged tablets with external scanners for shipping workers to scan each pallet label as it is loaded onto a delivery truck. The mobile tablets help inventory details wirelessly to the back office and record every loaded item and which pallet it is on.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has also hampered the production of rugged displays, a significant component of industrial tablets. The lockdown imposed in several countries to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus caused disruptions in the global supply chain of the parts and components used in these devices. The halting of production and disruption in the supply chain has weakened industrial output growth and the decline of activities across significant manufacturing hubs.
North America Holds a Dominant Position in the Market
- North America is one of the leading regions of the global transportation & logistics industry. Moreover, the growing investments in the energy sector are also expected to drive the North American market. The energy industry, which is the third-largest industry in the United States, is attracting many investments. For instance, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the United States is expected to invest nearly USD 700 million over the next 20 years to drive the renewable energy capacity, further driving the industrial tablet PC market in the region.
- North America end users' readiness to adopt new technology has positioned the region to hold a significant position in the global Industrial tablet PC market over the forecast period, owing to the new government initiative, especially in the United States in end-user industries, such as Defense, Aerospace, Health care, and Automotive, among others.
- The region is also witnessing a demand for agriculture and farming that drives the market. For instance, according to the US Department of Agriculture, the number of farms in the United States accounted 2,019,000 in 2020, compared to 2,023,400, and with the decrease in the farm numbers, the size of the existing farms is increasing. As the land grows, irrigation and fertilization demand digitization for farmers as the region's labor cost is always high, thus driving the GPS-equipped industrial grade rugged tablets for agriculture and farming usage.
- Market vendors are also focused on providing effective solutions for industrial usage. For instance, Zebra Technology Corporation offered a solution to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, a part of the FTSE-50 energy company, for their digital strategy to equip thousands of its mobile engineers with tablet PCs to optimize data access, report, and capture. The solution offered included Zebra's L10 rugged tablet that features dual SIM, screen legibility (anti-glare in sunlight), camera performance for asset condition checks, processing power, and strong battery performance.
The industrial tablet PC market is fragmented due to the presence of international, regional, and local vendors. The highly competitive market is expected to grow further based on product extensions, technological innovations, and the growing number of M&A activities. Furthermore, the new players venturing into the market will face challenges competing with the players based on quality, features, functionalities, and services. Additionally, players are leveraging on strategic collaborative initiatives to increase their market share and increase their profitability.
- July 2021 - MobileDemand, a provider of rugged tablets and mobile all-in-one computing solutions for workplace productivity, has introduced the xTablet T1190 to its tough xTablet lineup. Multi-payment systems and a barcode scanner are available as optional add-ons, allowing the dynamic tablet to accommodate today's ever-changing retail environment.
- May 2021- Panasonic introduced the TOUGHBOOK S1 rugged tablet. This android tablet is specifically designed for the truly mobile worker. This 7-inch screen device is easy to use, on the one hand, adaptable for a variety of tasks. The device uses the Android 10 operating system. It is equipped with a Qualcomm SDM660 Octa-Core CPU and 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage and comes with a dust and water rating of IP65/67, MIL-STD-810H certification, and tested to withstand drops of up to 150cm onto concrete.
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