Market research firm IDC has published its ‘Quarterly Tablet Tracker’ report for Q2, 2015, which shows that the global market for tablet computers in the quarter ended June 2015, has shrunk by 7 percent over the same period last year. While Q2, 2014 saw shipments of 48 million tablets, this year the number is down to only 44.7 million units. The largest vendors, Apple and Samsung, have both lost market share to newer rivals who’ve been able to offer more innovation at better price points, according to IDC. The report says that Chinese electronics and telecommunication equipment major Huawei has, for the first time, entered the list of the top tablet manufacturers in the world at number five, whereas price warrior E FUN has entered the top ten list for the first time. As for the report, IDC mentions that “References to ‘tablets’ in this release include both slate tablets and 2-in-1 devices”.
IDC’s research director for tablets, Mr. Jean Philippe Bouchard stated that, “In the first quarter of the year, Apple and Samsung accounted for 45% of the market and this quarter, with the growth of vendors like LG, Huawei, and E FUN, their combined share dropped to 41%. Each of the growing vendors managed to address available pockets of growth in the market; connected tablets for LG and Huawei, larger tablets and 2-in-1s in the right price bands for E FUN”. The firm’s senior research analyst, worldwide mobile device trackers, Mr. Jitesh Ubrani, meanwhile felt that, “Longer life cycles, increased competition from other categories such as larger smartphones, combined with the fact that end users can install the latest operating systems on their older tablets has stifled the initial enthusiasm for these devices in the consumer market”. He however also pointed out that, “(With) newer form factors like 2-in-1s, and added productivity-enabling features like those highlighted in iOS9, vendors should be able to bring new vitality to a market that has lost its momentum”.
Coming to the actual sales figures, while Apple maintained its preeminent position with 24.5 percent of the tablet market, the company’s market share actually came down from 27.7 percent in the corresponding period last year. The company managed to ship 10.9 million units in the quarter, which is down from 13.3 million units the company was able to move during Q2, 2014. Samsung held onto its second spot, but also saw its market share deplete from 18 percent in the second quarter of last year, to 17 percent this year. Lenovo has managed to stay put at number three, even though it too, has seen a nominal loss of market share, with around 100,000 less devices shipped during the recently concluded quarter.
The beneficiaries of the poor showing of the leaders however, were companies like Huawei Technologies, LG Electronics and little known E FUN, all of whom were able to substantially increase their sales and market share during the quarter. While Huawei and LG each shipped 1.6 million units, Huawei was able to corner 3.7 percent of the market during the quarter, having grown 103 percent YoY during the period, up from 1.7 percent in the second quarter of last year. LG’s performance in the segment was even more impressive if anything, with the South Korean company growing 246 percent and grabbing 3.6 percent of the global tablet market, up from barely 1 percent in Q2, 2014.