Keyboard and switch specialist Cherry says the rise of tablets is killing off some of its competition in the keyboard market.
Cherry UK MD Michael Groom told PCR that Apple and tablets have had a 'huge impact' on its business, with tablets' on-screen keyboards, but says Cherry is managing to compete due to its strong brand and wide range of products.
"Hopefully, with the rise in tablet devices, it’ll see the demise of some of the keyboard competition in the market, which opens up opportunities for those that are left behind," he said.
"Without a doubt the iPad/tablet generation has had a huge impact on our business, especially at the consumer level. However, because we are supplying a diverse range of equipment, from mice to industrial input device products, we are currently managing to remain a little ahead of the game.
"We’ve managed to resist [Apple’s stranglehold]. The thing is with Apple, some people are fanatics of them, they will follow them and buy whatever they bring out. They will automatically take it because it’s part of the branding.
"However, because Cherry offers such a wide range of products and such a bespoke facility, we’re not coming head to head with these. We’re all picking our own marketplaces – that’s how we’re surviving."
Groom added that there will be little room for mid-range keyboard and mice in the future, with consumers mainly opting for either budget or high-end models.
"PC accessories will once again go back to a large divide between products, between the entry-level market and the high-end, with little room for those in-between.
"The choices to the customer will either be at the entry level, membrane keyboards that will almost become throw-away devices, or for higher-end products that are going to last.
"In the industry, little will change – yes, there’s a move to table devices, but a desktop or laptop, preferably with an external keyboard, will continue to shine through particularly in office environments. After all, no-one wants to type a lengthy e-mail on a tablet screen, now do they?"
Read the upcoming April issue of PCR for the full interview with Cherry