It seems like the sudden surge of love for tablets was just a phase, and one which is passing away pretty quickly as well. As per data released on Monday by market researcher IDC, tablet sales dropped down to 38.7 million devices shipped, falling more than 12 percent in the second quarter of 2016. This marks a drop in tablet sales for the seventh consecutive quarter.
Tablets emerged as ‘the’ gadget in the beginning of this decade, selling like hot potatoes. However, from the fourth quarter of 2014, its fortunes declined as users started turning to large screen phones(or phablets), which offered better specifications along with a large screen size. The niche recorded its first ever shipment decline in the last quarter of 2014 and has continued on a downwards slope since then.
To put things in perspective, consider the fact that tablet sales have slipped down to the current low of 38 million devices from a 2014 high of 78.6 million tablets sold.
Speaking on the topic, Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC, said,
The market has spoken as consumers and enterprises seek more productive form factors and operating systems. 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.
Meanwhile, the distribution of the players in the niche has remained pretty much the same. Google’s Android operating system is at the top and accounts for 65 percent of shipments, despite some major OEMs washing their hands of Android tablets. Android is followed by Apple’s iOS platform which accounted for with 26 percent and finally, Microsoft’s Windows OS which has a 9 percent market share.
Company wise, Apple accounted for the bulk of tablet sales, shipping almost 10 million units in the quarter. It was followed by Samsung and Lenovo with 6 and 10 million units shipped respectively. Growth was on the decline for both Apple and Samsung however, who saw business go down by 9.2 percent and 24.5 percent respectively.
Huawei and Amazon also managed to make it to the top 5 thanks to a decent — and in Amazon’s case, 4 digit — year over year shipment growth. While Huawei’s tablet business grew by 71 percent, leading to around 2.2 million shipped tablets, Amazon managed to offload 1.6 million tablets at a staggering 1,208 percent y-o-y increase.