The tablet market continues to decline across the world with shipments down by 13.7 per cent, although detachable tablets and 2-in-1s managed to climb to a new high, according to latest numbers from data firm IDC.
IDC said the Q4 2015 saw 65.9 million tablets get shipped, while overall 206.8 million tablets were shipped for 2015, which was a -10.1 per cent growth compared to 2014. The one positive aspect in this tablet story were detachable devices, of which 8.1 million were shipped representing an all time high.
“This quarter was unique as we had new detachables in the market from all three of the major platform players,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers.
Also in the battle of the productivity tablets between the Apple iPad Pro and the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Cupertino’s device was the big winner. According to IDC, detachables are growing as people see them as ideal PC replacement. IDC’s numbers showed that Apple sold over 2 million iPad Pros while, Microsoft sold 1.6 million Surface devices, a majority of which were Surface Pro, not the affordable Surface 3.
“Despite lukewarm reviews, the iPad Pro was the clear winner this season as it was the top selling detachable, surpassing notable entries from Microsoft and other PC vendors. It’s also important to note that the transition towards detachable tablets has presented positive opportunities for both Apple and Microsoft,” added Ubrani.
He added that Google, which had launched its own Pixel C tablet last quarter, hasn’t tasted much success in the detachable tablet market.
“With these results, it’s clear that price is not the most important feature considered when acquiring a detachable – performance is,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets at IDC.
In terms of vendor positions, Apple remains at top with a 24.5 per cent market share, although it saw a -24.8% year-over-year decline. IDC says “Apple was able to curb the decline in iPad revenues as its model mix shifted towards higher priced iPads.”
Samsung was second with 13.7 per cent market share, although it too saw an 18.1 per cent decline year-on-year.
Amazon was number three on the list with its $50 Kindle tablet boosting annual growth to 175.7 per cent, for the company. According to IDC, Amazon’s success in the tablet market has thus far been purely based on price, one that is unlikely to continue in 2016.