IDC: Tablet shipments continue to free fall as market shifts focus towards productivity

Image via Daniel Bogan

IDC has released statistics for worldwide tablet shipments in the second quarter of 2016, which indicates a 12.3% decline. While this is slightly less than the 14.7% decline which the firm noted in Q1 2016, it is still quite a large drop on its own. According to IDC, this is due to vendors restructuring their product lines and customers delaying purchases, as the market shifts focus towards productivity.

According to the disclosed statistics, Android dominated as the most favored operating system for tablets, accounting for 65% of shipments. iOS was a distant second, commanding 26% of the tablet sector, while Windows held the remaining share, which is roughly 9%. Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers had the following to say:

The market has spoken as consumers and enterprises seek more productive form factors and operating systems – it's the reason we're seeing continued growth in detachables. At present, it's difficult for Android to compete with iOS or Windows detachable products. 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.

The firm also shared information on the top five vendors of tablets in Q2 2016, which show Apple leading the market in terms of shipments with 10 million units sold, compared to 11 million units in 2015, a marked year over year decrease of 9.2%. Seeing that the company had a YoY decline of 18.8% in Q1 2016, IDC notes that Apple did well in this quarter, which raised its average selling price (ASP) and revenue.

While Samsung commands the second position, it sold only 6 million units, which means that it faced a massive decrease of 24.5% YoY. With that being said, it is important to note that the Samsung Galaxy Tab View is not included in the results, as it is not included in the firm's tablet taxonomy. IDC also expects the company's situation to improve as Samsung "arguably leaves the detachable market untouched".

Lenovo and Huawei shipped a total of 4.7 million units collectively, showing a YoY increase of 3.1% and 71.0% respectively. The former benefited from its low-cost Lenovo Tab 2 and Lenovo Tab 3 lineups, and was also boosted by the Yoga Tab 3 Pro. On the other hand, IDC described Huawei's efforts as "half-hearted", stating that its Matebook is off to a rocky start, with the company's slates performing relatively well in the Asia/Pacific and MEA regions.

Amazon showed a remarkable growth of 1208.9% year over year, but IDC notes that this could be due to the fact that the firm did not include 6-inch tablets from Amazon in Q2 2015. IDC states:

Credit goes to Amazon as its performance this quarter has been reflective of the aptly named Fire tablets. The low price combined with the company's online presence has once again afforded Amazon a spot in the top 5 vendor list. Given the growing popularity of Amazon's Prime Day Sale, it would not be surprising if Amazon performs similarly in the next quarter. It is important to note that the unprecedented growth is partially attributed to the fact that IDC did not include the 6-inch tablets offered by Amazon in 2Q15.

Other vendors - which includes Microsoft as well, since it apparently did not make the cut to be listed among the top five vendors - sold 16.4 million units, which brings the total number of units shipped to 38.7 million, as compared to 39.6 million in Q1 2016. In spite of the continued decline in sales, IDC notes that detachables continue to dominate, with the form factor accounting for nearly three-quarters of the market.

Source and image: IDC

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