Tablets continue to lose their popularity among consumers, as the latest data from International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed that the tablet market has declined 3.4 percent during the second quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, with 37.9 million units shipped on a global scale. Nonetheless, the figure offers some sort of relief to the tablet market, as it suggests a slightly slower drop than the market did in 2016, during which the downturn reached double digits. The slower decline in the second quarter of 2017 is thanks to new tablets with relatively lower prices, according to IDC, which added that the price factor aided the tier one tablet vendors in growing their market share annually. However, IDC cautions that this growth may not be sustained for long since it usually takes longer to replace tablets than smartphones. That means the market share of the leading tablet vendors could plummet in the foreseeable future due to the long replacement cycle of their respective tablet offerings.
One sub-category of the tablet segment that also suffered a decline is the detachable category. That is primarily because consumers have reconsidered their expectations for this type of tablet after waiting long for new product releases, according to IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani, who added that convertible notebooks on the other hand provide many users with a computing experience that they are more accustomed to. Linn Huang, research director for devices and displays at IDC, also said the tablet market basically served to help find out if the detachable category could compensate for the downturn of the slate category of tablets. Last year, IDC projected that detachable tablets would contribute to the annual growth of the tablet market through 2020.
In terms of the market leaders in the tablet segment, Samsung emerged as the third largest manufacturer of detachable tablets, with Apple and Microsoft occupying the first and second spots, respectively, according to IDC. A research report in May also projected Samsung's tablet market share at 15.1 percent in the second quarter of 2017. Other notable tablet manufacturers include Huawei, which IDC says is faring well in the market due to its investment in brand marketing in Europe and Asia. Amazon is also included in the list due to what IDC describes as the company's "aggressive pricing strategy," as well as Lenovo which has managed to grow its detachable tablet market share with the help of its low-cost strategy in Asia.