Tablet market continues to decline says IDC

Shipments down as consumers and enterprise wait for more useful devices

Tags: International Data CorporationTablet PC
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Tablet market continues to decline says IDC Tablet buyers are looking for devices that will make them more productivity and have more useability, says IDC.
By  Mark Sutton Published  August 5, 2016

Sales of tablet PCs have continued to decline in Q2 2016, according to IDC, as buyers look for devices that support better productivity.

Worldwide shipments reached 38.7m in the second quarter, down 12.3% year-on-year, and down from 39.3m in the first quarter this year. IDC said that shipments are down worldwide in the face of ongoing lack of interest and spending from consumers, and refocusing of product lines by vendors.

"The market has spoken as consumers and enterprises seek more productive form factors and operating systems - it's the reason we're seeing continued growth in detachables," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "At present, it's difficult for Android to compete with iOS or Windows detachable products. However, the next 12 to 18 months will be very interesting as Google launches the next version of Android with better multi-tasking support and as they begin to bring together their two operating systems."

An overwhelming majority of tablets shipped this past quarter were Android-based systems (65%) followed by iOS, which captured 26%, and Windows for the remaining share. Though this trend has been constant for years there are early signs of change as the Android vendor list has contracted and champions of the OS have begun to offer Windows-based products, hedging against the decline of Android slates.

Despite the continued decline in slates, the form factor still accounts for over three-quarters of the market.

"While growth in the detachable category is undeniable, slates continue to represent the vast majority of the segment. Vendors like Amazon, with a very focused approach to positioning, price, and purpose, managed to capture a considerable share of the market. Slate sales are declining but they still serve a purpose and will do so for a long time to come," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director, Tablets at IDC.

Apple led the tablet market with 25.8% of the market. IDC said that Apple's launch of its second detachable helped lessen its year-over-year decline to 9%, but more importantly it helped raise Apple's average selling price (ASP) and revenue. Price reductions on previous generation iPads and the latest Pro iterations are expected to have the same effect for the remainder of 2016 as the consumer and enterprise audiences evaluate their needs.

Samsung continues to hold the number 2 position in IDC's ranking with methodical coverage of price bands, features, and screen sizes. Samsung's results should get better as it arguably leaves the detachable category still untouched. It is also important to note that Samsung's Galaxy View is not included in IDC's Tablet taxonomy and therefore not included in the presented results.

Lenovo's strength is primarily in Asia/Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East & Africa (MEA). IDC said that Lenovo's unique, sometimes esoteric designs, such as the Yoga Tab 3 Pro which offers a built-in projector, have allowed the vendor to differentiate itself from other premium media-focused tablets. However, the majority of its shipments still come from the low-cost Lenovo Tab 2 and Lenovo Tab 3 lineups.

Huawei's Matebook has been off to a rocky start as the specs have not been reflective of the price. The company is fourth in tablet shipments, with 5.6% market share. The company's first foray into the detachable segment seems half-hearted IDC said, and it's imperative for this to change should Huawei expect to make any headway in this space. Meanwhile, Huawei's slates continue to perform well in the Asia/Pacific and MEA regions.

Amazon had 4% market share, due to strong sales of its low cost Fire tablets, although these devices are not available in all markets.

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