Apple was the topmost tablet vendor with 26% of the market, and Samsung stood at the second spot with 17% in 2014, according to a report from Strategy Analytics. However, the report also noted that generic tablets or devices sold under another brand name outpaced both big brands, shipping a collective 70 million devices last year to take 29% of the worldwide market, according to Re/Code.
Are low-price tablets threat to Apple, Samsung?
Tablets with low prices are gaining greater market share as they near the performance of the popular brands. In the developing market, price is the main factor that decides sales. Generic tablet makers supply low-price products to emerging markets and hardware for re-branding and distribution as part of U.S. wireless carrier promotions for devices given away on contract.
“It’s pretty easy to find the deals: Get a data plan and a tablet for free,” said Strategy Analytics senior analyst Eric Smith.
Another research report from Creative Strategies suggested that other little-known tablets are performing well in India and China, but they are used primarily as portable video players. The report noted that these tablets pop up at different places, but usage is fundamentally different from the more advanced tablets such as Apple’s iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Declining iPad sales
For the most recent quarter, Apple posted total iPad shipments of 21.4 million units, a drop of 18% year over year. Sales took a toll on tablet revenue, dropping 22% compared to the previous year, earning Apple around $9 billion compared to 2014’s $11.5 billion.
During the earnings conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that sales of the tablet dropped but asserted that iPad sales will continue to grow in the long run. Cook cited a report from Chitika Research that claimed iPad users grab more than 70% of tablet-based web traffic in North America. The report indicates that tablets with lower price tags are not used as much as Apple’s device.
There are reports that Apple will launch a bigger iPad Pro that could come with a tablet stylus. As of now, there is little information about the rumored 12-inch screen size of the tablet, apart from its size.