Tablet market shrinks as demand grows for hybrids

A touch I.D. pad is seen on the new iPad Mini 3 during an Apple special event

According to figures for Q3, tablet shipments hit 46.6 million units worldwide, which was down 10% compared to the same quarter past year, and 1% down on Q2 2016. Compared to Q2, shipments rose 9.8 percent as vendors prepared for the holiday quarter.

IDC credited the weakened market to the popularity of low-cost devices, which it added "also deliver a low-cost experience".

Taking a page from Microsoft's success with Surface in the 2-in-1/Pro Slate Tablet market, iPad Pro is putting Apple on the path to recovery with prices trending 6% higher year-on-year and shipment growth down only 6% in Q3 2016.

Both Apple and Samsung saw their shipment numbers fall once again, though Apple gained share, up 1.9 points to 21.5 percent market share.

Which strategy will be more successful in the long run is hard to tell, though IDC's Jean Philippe Bouchard, tablet research director at IDC, remains optimistic about Apple's long-term success in such a volatile market.

Lenovo also saw a decline of 10.8 percent, but maintained its strong position in the APAC (excluding Japan) and EMEA markets.

The largest loss came from Samsung tablet sales, which surprisingly avoided fallout from negative press surrounding the Note 7.

During its recent earnings call, Apple financial chief Luca Maestri said the company is "highly successful" in the tablet market, with 82% market share of premium tablets priced above $200. Though the company has many aspirational products across all its entire consumer electronics portfolio, none were enough to raise the company's profile in the tablet market, resulting in a 10.8% decline this quarter.

Amazon's Prime Day led to a surge in the tablet rankings. Note that IDC continues the 2-in-1 devices as PCs. While the latest Yoga Book announced at IFA garnered some praise, IDC said it will be counting this device as a traditional PC. According to Apple Insider, this was largely happening because of company's more expensive iPad Pro models. Known for its smartphones, the Chinese manufacturer's tablets-many of which come integrated with cellular connectivity but Wi-Fi-only prices-are picking up steam.

Amazon's Fire tablets had an impressive showing in the period, reflecting consumers' appetite for cheap tablets.

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