The tablet market is pretty much packing up. Soon after the IDC report that showed a 12.6 per cent year over year decline a Canalys report puts the figure at 20 per cent. In fact, Canalys says the worldwide PC market experienced its fourth consecutive quarter of negative growth, with shipments declining 14% to 114.2 million units. Canalys counts tablets in the PC segment.
“The market struggled in Q3 as vendors continued to grapple with the impact of currency headwinds, excess channel inventory and product transitions driven by Microsoft and Intel. With the exception of North America, all regions experienced double-digit annual shipment declines, including EMEA that fell almost 18%,” the Canalys report said.
However, the positive news came from the two-in-one PC category which grew 77 per cent year-on-year and global notebook shipments increased 12 per cent sequentially, as the market gears up for the holiday season. “Although this indicates a better end to 2015, vendors must resist the temptation to build inventory in Q4. Consumer demand will be muted by Microsoft’s Windows 10 upgrade program and tablet vendors will be eager to present holiday shoppers with attractive bargains,” the report forewarned.
Apple, meanwhile, continued to lead the tablet market even as iPad shipments slipped 20 per cent, falling below 10 million units for the first time since Q2 2011 to 9.9 million units. Samsung posted a similar year-on-year shipment decline as it continues to occupy second place with 7.9 million units. Lenovo’s tablet shipments increased by around 2% to 3.1 million units, putting it at number three.
Canalys said global shipments have been negatively affected by Chinese manufacturers turning their attention from tablets to large screen smartphones and wearables. “The Greater China region saw the steepest annual decline in tablet shipments, falling around 34 per cent year-on-year. Apple led the market in mainland China with shipments of 1.8 million units, a decline of 13 per cent from the previous quarter. Local vendors have also been affected, with Huawei and Lenovo experiencing sequential declines of around 20 per cent.”
“New iPads were not announced until the end of Q3, meaning that the vast majority of Apple’s shipments comprised of products that have not been refreshed for over a year. Although iPad shipment declines do not make for good headlines, the fact that Apple continues to lead in this market speaks volumes,” commented Tim Coulling, Canalys Senior Analyst.
“Holiday purchases, as well as the launch of the iPad Pro and iPad mini 4, will boost shipments in Q4. However, we do not expect a significant increase in sales until Apple launch a successor to the iPad Air 2, a product that some expected in Q4 but is currently unannounced. In the light of consumers delaying upgrades, slowing down the iPad product cycle would be a positive step for Apple. It can raise product margins by delaying inevitable price drops and decreasing the likelihood of people skipping iPad generations by delivering meaningful hardware improvements.”