Apple Dominates Tablet Sales amid Market Decline


Apple’s iPad series of tablets has been tumbling in terms of sales over multiple quarters and it is increasingly looking like the product is dying. However, the iPads decline is mostly mirroring an overall slip in the tablet market at a whole, and this is evidenced by the fact that the iPad remains the best-selling slate.


There is also the small matter of the iPad Pro line and enterprise continuing the iPad legacy far beyond the consumer space, but in terms of bottom line the range is declining at a worrying (PC like) pace. The tablet sector as a whole is following suit, according to IDC. Overall shipments for tablets through the first quarter stood at 39.6 million units overall, or which Apple?s iPad range accounted for 10.2 million units. The market as a whole saw a 14.7% decline from 46.4 million unit sales through Q1 in 2014, showing the sector is really starting to slow down. While Apple lost some market share, it was not enough to suggest the company is declining any more quickly that other companies. The company had a market share of 25.9% through Q1, compared to 27.2% during the same period in 2015, which mostly sticks close to rival companies. Indeed, Apple’s big rival Samsung saw an even bigger decline, shipping 6 million, and a sizeable 28.1% slip that left it with a 15.2% market share.

Next on the list is Amazon with 5.7%, followed by Lenovo with 5.5%, and Huawei with 2.4%. Indeed Huawei was the big winner with an 82.2% increase in sales. Speaking of winners, Microsoft’s Surface range has been a slow burner for the company, but consumers are finally warming to the range and the detachable tablet/laptop hybrid market as a whole. While Microsoft has seen Surface sales finally take off, the company still missed out to Apple as the top company in the detachable market. Of course, Cupertino entered the market late with last year’s iPad Pro, but already it has become the number one selling tablet with a detachable QWERTY keyboard.
“Microsoft arguably created the market for detachable tablets with the launch of their Surface line of products. With the PC industry in decline, the detachable market stands to benefit as consumers and enterprises seek to replace their aging PCs with detachable. Apple’s recent foray into this segment has garnered them an impressive lead in the short term, although continued long-term success may prove challenging as a higher entry price point staves off consumers and iOS has yet to prove its enterprise-readiness, leaving plenty of room for Microsoft and their hardware partners to reestablish themselves.”-Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, IDC

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