Worldwide Tablet Shipments Decline 8.5% in Q1 2017 as Migration Continues from Slates to Detachables

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The worldwide tablet market has shrunk again in Q1 2017 with a Year-on-Year decline of 8.5% and total shipments of just 36.2 Million across the entire industry. This contraction marks the tenth straight quarter that tablets have experienced decline, with the previous five quarters even recording double-digit drops.

This data comes from the International Data Corporation (IDC). “Tablets” as a market are divided into two parts — detachable tablets which come with first-party keyboards and closely resemble laptops, and the other being slate tablets which lack a keyboard option. Within the tablet market, detachables continue to grow while slates are steeply declining after peaking back in 2014.

The decline for tablets was accelerated by the popularity of smartphones, and now, detachables face competition from the PC market with the growth of ‘convertibles’, laptops that swivel their keyboard to give better access to the main touchscreen without allowing for removal of the keyboard. How tablets fare in the long run will only be answered if detachables continue their good growth rates against convertibles, even though their shipments are dwarfed against them currently.

As far as trends within the markets go, Apple faced its 13th consecutive quarterly decline YoY (-13%) despite being the market leader in Q1 2017. Samsung retained its second position with a 1.1% decline.

Huawei surprisingly was the only company in the top five to experience positive growth in Q1 2017, with an astounding 31.7% increase YoY, going from 2 Million units shipped in Q1 2016 to 2.7 Million shipped in Q1 2017. Considering the declining popularity of tablets, it certainly became rare to see a positive result in this space.

Amazon and Lenovo round up the fourth and fifth places. Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets with their aggressive pricing which resulted in stagnation in terms of total shipments YoY but an 1.8% decline in market share YoY. Lenovo shipped lower a quantity and lost 3.8% YoY, but it does have its portfolio spread wider across convertibles and detachables.

What are your thoughts on the current tablet market? Where do you think tablets are headed towards, in the future? Let us know in the comments below!


Source: IDC

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