Tablet Sales Take A Dip For First Time


The number of tablets shipped by manufacturers has fallen year-on-year for the first time. Lenovo was the only one of the top five tablet makers to increase shipments, with Apple and Samsung both losing market share.

The figures come from IDC and cover October through December 2014. The comparisons are with the same period in 2013, meaning they avoid the effects of seasonal fluctuations. The figures cover both tablet computers and “2-in-1” devices that can convert between a tablet and a laptop. Although the figures cover shipments rather than sales, the two should be very closely related in an established market such as tablets.

The total shipment figure was 76.1 million, down from 78.6 million. The five top manufacturers remain Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, Asus and Amazon, though all but Lenovo saw drops in both shipments and market shares. Apple was down 17.4 percent and Samsung down 18.4 percent, with Amazon down a whopping 69.9 percent. (That last figure may be slightly misleading as IDC doesn’t count 6-inch devices such as the recently released Fire HD as tablets.)

Although the market is getting more fragmented, Apple and Samsung still dominate with a market share of 28.1 percent and 14.5 percent respectively. IDC believes it’s the fact that the two leaders both had big drops that meant overall sales dipped, even though smaller manufacturers increased shipments.

IDC blames the iPad slump on two factors. Firstly, it argues that this year’s new models offered too little in the way of improvements for existing owners to find upgrades attractive. Secondly, it believes customers are increasingly opting to get an iPhone or a Mac rather than a new iPad. (Of course, the money still goes to Apple, which just announced the biggest quarterly profit of any company in history.)

As for Lenovo, IDC says its success is down largely to the sheer variety of devices and screen sizes it offers.

Geeks are Sexy needs YOUR help. Learn more about how YOU can support us here.