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Tablet market continues to decline as of Q3 2016

Tablet market continues to decline as of Q3 2016
Tablet market continues to decline as of Q3 2016
Apple, Lenovo, and Samsung tablet sales are down while Huawei and Amazon are up significantly from the previous year.

Once celebrated as a booming new market, tablets are selling fewer and fewer worldwide as consumers seem to to be holding onto their existing tablets with no real incentives to upgrade. According to the latest figures from IDC, the worldwide tablet market has shrunk almost 15 percent YoY from 50.5 million units in Q3 2015 to 43 million units as of Q3 2016. The market leader is still Apple, though even its iPad family has declined in sales by about 6 percent during the same period. The iPad Mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro are still selling strong for the Cupertino company nonetheless.

Following on the footsteps of Apple are Lenovo and Samsung down by 10 percent and 19 percent, respectively. IDC is claiming that Lenovo is currently lacking a clear portfolio of options for consumers while Samsung is lacking detachable notebooks and appropriate keyboard docks to offset the decline in sales of its "traditional" Galaxy tablets.

Not all is doom and gloom, however, as some manufacturers are rising through the ranks. Huawei and Amazon are up 28 percent and 319 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year. The fast Huawei growth can be attributed to its ballooning smartphone business that is spilling over to its tablet branch. Meanwhile, Amazon's cheap Fire tablets and its successful Prime Day sale are both directly responsible for the 4x increase in Amazon tablet sales.

In general, IDC is predicting a manufacturing trend towards low-end detachables. If true, this could be detrimental to the market as consumers may see these products as inferior to their existing PCs and may be even less likely to replace their computers with tablets and other 2-in-1 alternatives.


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Allen Ngo, 2016-11- 2 (Update: 2016-11- 2)