Tablet sales down another 8.6 percent, marking sixteen quarters of decline

Posted on Monday, Nov 05 2018 @ 10:21 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
After products like the iPad made the tablet category popular, sales were booming and the sky was the limit. These days, pretty much every household has a tablet and these devices last many years so the replacement rate is pretty low. The result is tablet sales have been declining for 16 consecutive quarters. The latest research figures from IDC reveal sales came in at 36.4 million units in Q3 2018, a decrease of 8.6 percent year-over-year.
The worldwide tablet market declined 8.6% during the third quarter of 2018 (3Q18) as global shipments fell to 36.4 million, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Slate tablets accounted for the majority of the market with 31.6 million units, down 7.9% from the previous year. Detachable tablets also declined, down 13.1% from the previous year, to account for 4.8 million unit shipments.

"The detachable market has failed to see growth in 2018, a worrying trend that has plagued the category off and on since the end of 2016," said Lauren Guenveur, senior research analyst for IDC's Tablet team. "In October we finally saw the highly anticipated refreshes of Apple's iPad Pro and Microsoft's Surface Pro, as well as new products by Samsung and Google, which lead us to believe that the last quarter of the year will turn the detachable category around, at least for the time being. Increasingly sparse are new products by the top-tier PC OEMs as they remain more focused on their convertible portfolio, a move that will ultimately affect the overall trajectory of the detachable market going forward."

"The tablet market is more like the traditional PC market than ever before," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "Not only do these markets move in sync with each other, but the decreasing margins and overall decline, particularly in slate tablets, has led to the top 5 companies capturing a larger share as many small vendors have exited the space or simply treat the tablet market with a much lower priority. Even among the top 5, it is essentially Apple and to a lesser extent Samsung that continue to invest heavily in product innovation and marketing. This has helped the two companies to set themselves apart from the rest."
Apple remains the largest tablet maker with a marketshare of 26.6 percent in Q3 2018, followed by Samsung at 14.6 percent and Amazon at 12.0 percent. Huawai takes the fourth spot with 8.9 percent and Lenovo ranks fifth with 6.3 percent. The remaining 31.6 percent of the market is split between dozens of manufacturers.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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