For years, tablets have dominated the gadget landscape. Apple brought the first iPad to the masses in 2010. Other companies soon jumped into the fray.
In the fourth quarter of 2013, 78.6 million tablets hit store shelves. This past fourth quarter saw that number dip for the first time ever. Down 3.2% to 76.1 million tablets.
The new report, from research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), shows nearly all major tablet vendors saw declines in the fourth quarter. Lenovo was the one holdout of the top five tablet manufacturers with tablet shipments rising 9.1%. Apple saw a decline of 17.8%. Samsung’s tablet shipments dipped 18.4%. Asus was down 24.9% and Amazon suffered a significant collapse in shipments, down 69.9%.
Apple remains the top tablet vendor with 28.1% of the market share in the fourth quarter of 2014. That was down from 33.1%. Amazon’s market share slipped from 7.4% to 2.3%. Lenovo managed to gain 0.5% in market share year-over-year.
“The tablet market is still very top heavy in the sense that it relies mostly on Apple and Samsung to carry the market forward each year,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. “Although Apple expanded its iPad lineup by keeping around older models and offering a lower entry price point of $249, it still wasn’t enough to spur iPad sales given the excitement around the launch of the new iPhones. Meanwhile, Samsung’s struggles continued as low-cost vendors are quickly proving that mid- to high-priced Android tablets simply aren’t cut out for today’s tablet market.”
On the iPad, IDC noted: Cannibalization at the bottom from the iPhone and at the top from the Mac appear to be a serious issue for the iPad.
The Phablet Effect?
You can’t discount bigger smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy Note and iPhone 6 Plus are equipped with much larger screens than traditionally seen on smartphones. I know I watch Netflix on my 6 Plus all the time. I’m sure a lot of you do the same on your smartphone of choice.
Still, it’s not all bad news on the tablet front. While shipments did fall in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to last year, shipments were up on the full-year by 4.4%. You can see how each of the major vendors did for the full-year in the image below.
What about you? Do you still use tablets or have you shifted to bigger smartphones? If you do still use your tablet, when was the last time you upgraded?