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Ever since the smartphone and the larger smartphones dubbed phablets came into the market, the life of the tablet has been cast into doubt.

On many occasions, it has been predicted that tablet sales will see a slump in the near future, with 2016 expected to report a drop of up to 5.9%, IDC can reveal. Market leaders such as Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft have also been predicting the same stats as far as this year is concerned; however, there is still some hope for this industry.

According to the IDC, the demand for keyboard-detachable tablets will have increased massively by the time 2017 comes around. Actually, this could be one reason as to why Apple and Google chose to take a similar direction as Microsoft with respect to the design of their tablets. The analysis firm claims that if Apple and Google keep on releasing tablets that take after the Microsoft Surface Book, the market will be stable in a few years’ time. The two have already begun doing this, with Apple rolling out the iPad Pro while Google coming in with Pixel C.

Microsoft leading the way

Microsoft and its line of Surface Book laptops and Surface Pro tablets seem to be setting the market standards as far as detachable keyboard devices are concerned. IDC further reports that these devices will boast a market share of up to 75% by the time 2020 is around, representing an increment of over 20% based on current market share stats.

While Microsoft will be enjoying sales, Apple will be in trouble as the same report puts Cupertino at 7.3% in 2020 compared to the 28.5% the company has at the moment. While rumors are rife that Apple will launch a compact version of last year’s iPad Pro, the company will only have two detachable tablets in the market, a figure that places it way behind market leader Microsoft. As far as Google’s Pixel C and other Android detachable tablets are concerned, the IDC believes that sales will not have changed by then.

Detachable tablets are the future

As it seems, IDC’s predictions reveal that detachable tablets are actually the future of the PC market in general. At the moment, these devices account for less than 10% of the tablet market share, but the analyst firm predicts a more than 20% increment by 2020.

If this is true, Microsoft already has the ball in its court. The company was actually the first to go into this detachable keyboard tablet market with its line of Surface tablets. It has been the same story for major names in the PC industry, for instance, HP, Dell, Samsung as well as Apple.