Windows tablets falter as tablet market falls 10% in Q1 2017

The only top vendor to show positive growth was Huawei; Amazon was flat

Boston, MA - May 4, 2017 – Windows tablets have bolstered the tablet market from deeper declines over the last several years but in Q1 2017, even Windows tablets suffered shipment declines from one year ago. Global tablet market shipments fell 10% as most top vendors remained in negative territory and Windows tablet inventory was in need of a refresh, according to the new “Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and Market Share: Q1 2017” report from Strategy Analytics’ Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies (TTS) service.

The associated report is published here:

Peter King , Service Director, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies service said,

“Surprisingly, Android market share held steady this quarter as cheaper alternatives from companies like Amazon and Huawei filled in the gaps where White Box vendors have traditionally served low-cost demand. Though still declining year-over-year, Samsung also showed stronger results this quarter, with a clear focus on mid-level Android tablets and a refresh on the way for its 2-in-1 line-up. There is still a market for tablets purely used for entertainment, and Android’s resilience is proof of that.”

Eric Smith , Senior Analyst, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies service added,

“Sales performance for Windows Tablets has been fantastic over the last several years but the hero of this segment is missing in action. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are both over a year old and while PC and mobile-first OEMs refine the segment in their own way, the absence of Microsoft’s leadership and marketing prowess is being felt as the segment slowed down this quarter.”

Tablet Market Results by Vendor

The two biggest players in the tablet market continue to suffer shipment declines on an annual basis. Apple and Samsung are moving in the right direction, however, as growth creeps back to breakeven and both vendors refine their 2-in-1 Tablet offerings this year. Branded Android vendors like Amazon and Huawei have capitalized on low-cost tablet demand as White Box vendors leaving the tablet market for more profitable, high-growth product segments. Lenovo’s performance has fluctuated between positive and negative growth during the last several quarters as Huawei cuts in on its Asian business and ended with slightly negative growth in Q1 2017. High growth for Amazon is coming to an end and we expect a more stable growth pattern going forward within the low-cost slate market in which the company operates.

Exhibit 1: Most Major Vendors Showed Declines in Q1 2017

Q1 2017 Preliminary Tablet MS PR Chart 040517

Tablet Market Dynamics by Operating System

  • Apple iOS shipments came in below projections at 8.9 million iPads in Q1 2017 leaving it with a worldwide market share of 21% of the Tablet market. ASPs grew by 1% year-on-year to $436 as the iPad mini 2 was in short supply and the higher priced iPad mini 4 was the only available 7" tablet.
  • Android shipments reached 26.9 million units worldwide in Q1 2017, down 11% from 30.1 million a year earlier and down 32% sequentially on low seasonality. Market share remained steady year-on-year at 64% as low-cost branded Android tablets replace receding influence of White Box vendors.
  • Windows shipments fell 2% year-on-year at 6.3 million units in Q1 2017, from 6.4 million in Q1 2016. Even still, Windows market share climbed 1 percentage point year-on-year to 15%.
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