Tablet shipments continue to fall, but business demand provides hope

The worldwide tablet market fell an additional 16% in Q2 2016, as shipments dropped to their lowest point in three years. 35 million tablets shipped in Q2, as Apple managed to increase its share to 28% at the top of the market. Samsung continues to occupy the second spot, shipping almost 6 million units for a 16% share of the market. Lenovo and Huawei took the third and fourth spots, with both shipping just over 2 million units and taking 7% and 6% market share respectively. Android shipments suffered the biggest hit, falling some 23% globally, as volumes were impacted by significant declines in many Asia Pacific and Latin American markets.

‘Competition from smart phones and, more recently, convertible two-in-one PCs has resulted in the weakness we currently see in the consumer segment, particularly cheap slate tablets running Android,’ said Wilmer Ang, Canalys Research Analyst. ‘Top-tier brands Dell, HP and Sony have all but given up in this space, while the likes of Huawei, Lenovo and Samsung try to leverage their brands and premium designs to hold on to higher price points.’

Away from the consumer market there are some positives points that indicate a slightly brighter future for tablet vendors.

‘Microsoft’s Surface Pro and the iPad Pro have confirmed that there is a growing demand for detachable tablets in business,’ added Research Analyst TuanAnh Nguyen. ‘We are not going to see B2B demand propel tablet shipments to the heights of previous quarters. But the ongoing transition to Windows 10 and the arrival of multitasking in Android Nougat should provide an opportunity for vendors to capitalize on selling tablets and their associated services to businesses.’

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