Tablet Shipments Drop For Tenth Straight Quarter, iPad Still At Top

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The tablet market has been dropping for ten quarters in a row now, according to the most recent data released by market research and analysis firm IDC. The first quarter saw an 8.5% year-over-year decline as well with shipments declining from 39.6 million from the same quarter last year to just 36.2 million units worldwide.

Some positives for tablet fans

In a statement, IDC Program President Ryan Reith said that the rate at which the tablet market grew from 2010 to 2013 was unlike the growth they seen in other consumer-oriented device markets before. However, it seems consumers are less eager to refresh these devices for several reasons now.

“We continue to believe the leading driver for this was the increased dependency on smartphones, along with rather minimal technology and form factor progression,” Reith said.

Despite the continued drop, there was one positive this year. In comparison to the previous five quarters, which saw double-digit declines, the drop in shipments was slightly less in the latest quarter.

There was one more positive as well: “detachables” are still in demand, notes Android Headlines. Detachables come with a touchscreen monitor and can be used as a tablet or a full-fledged PC with a keyboard and mouse. Detachable tablets also offer a first-party keyboard. During the quarter, convertibles experienced even stronger growth; however, IDC believes that detachables will outpace convertibles in the long run.

“Still, the detachable market has proven it will move with major product launches and Microsoft and Apple have yet to launch their 2017 salvos,” says IDC. “Many of these devices have quickly grown to resemble products that IDC refers to as traditional notebook PCs or laptops,” says IDC.

Apple’s iPad experienced the worst drop

According to IDC, the iPad was the most popular tablet in the first three months of this year with over 8.9 million units shipped worldwide, commanding a 24.6% market share. Despite this, Apple’s shipments fell by about 13% year over year from 10.3 million units in the first quarter of 2016 to only 8.9 million units this year.

In a statement, IDC said that Apple experienced its 13th consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipment declines even after being “the market leader in [the first quarter of 2017]. Apple’s results show that it is not immune to the changing dynamics of industry and consumer demand, part of which is due to the ongoing success of its other product lines.” iPad revenue came in at $3.9 billion, a drop of 12%.

Other tablet makers and Apple rivals like Samsung did not experience the same level of drop as Apple. For instance, Samsung shipped over 6 million units during the quarter, a 1.1% drop in comparison to last year’s first quarter. In addition, shipments from Amazon dropped to 2.2 million, a 1.8% decline, while shipments of China-based tech company Lenovo, dropped 3.8% to 2.1 million units.

Apart from Huawei, all companies in the top five experienced shipment declines in the latest quarter, with Apple leading the pack with a 13% decline in shipments, notes AH.

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