Surface and iPad Refreshes Will Keep Tablets Alive, Says IDC

10 Dec 2019

LONDON, December 10, 2019 — The EMEA tablet market reached 10.9 million units in the third quarter of the year, a drop of 8.2% on the same quarter last year, according to data from International Data Corporation (IDC). The contraction in consumer demand continues to be the main inhibitor of tablet adoption. As consumers lack compelling reasons to refresh their devices, life cycles continuously increase, leading to a market slowdown. However, the deployment of tablets in the commercial segments remains healthy, with a 4.2% YoY increase, due to the larger number of usage scenarios generated by digital transformation.

"In a quarter usually marked by seasonality, where there is a balance between the top two companies, Apple maintained and consolidated its market leadership," said Helena Ferreira, research analyst, IDC Western Europe Personal Computing Devices. "The growing market saturation is driving consolidation, as the top five companies become increasingly dominant, and in developed economies, like in Western Europe, the top five represented more than three-quarters of the market."

The overall tablet market in Western Europe declined 6.0% YoY in 3Q19, while Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) declined 12.0% YoY.

"Slate tablet shipments are continuing to drag down overall tablet results in both CEE and MEA, mostly due to the consumer consumption slowdown and significant drops in below-10in. tablets, due to stiff competition from large-screen smartphones," said Nikolina Jurisic, program manager, IDC CEMA.

Vendor Highlights

Apple retained the market leadership in EMEA, ahead of its product refresh cycle. Samsung posted a double-digit decline, as the main focus is on pushing its prosumer S series and driving more profitability. Lenovo regained third position, filling the gap left by Huawei's decline. Huawei dropped to fourth and continues to suffer from the impact of the ban on consumer confidence. Amazon remained in the top 5 and continues to dominate the ultra-low-end price ranges, particularly during promotional periods such as Prime Day in 3Q.

The EMEA tablet market is forecast to decline by 10.2% YoY in both 4Q and for overall 2019. The dynamics affecting the market, particularly in the consumer segment, are expected to persist both in consumer and the commercial segments in the coming quarters.

"Despite the decline in total units shipped, the tier A vendors will sustain market value, particularly through the most recent iterations of iPad and Surface," said Daniel Goncalves, senior research analyst, IDC Western Europe Personal Computing Devices. "The new iPad with a first party keyboard and a new operating system designed to enhance productivity features in a tablet environment is expected to generate interest among prosumers and to continue boosting renewals of old tablets. On the other hand, the adoption of Surface Pro as a notebook replacement is expected to continue to thrive and to increasingly drive horizontal deployments in enterprise."

The commercial market in EMEA is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% between 2019 and 2023.

"In the long run, the commercial segment is expected to grow due to the transition to mobility and growing user case scenarios for deploying tablets into businesses," said Jurisic.

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