Global tablet market shrinks as Chinese vendors gain ground

The global tablet market slowed down in Q2 2016, with Chinese vendors slowly gaining ground on leaders Apple and Samsung.

Much like the smartphone market at present, Chinese device manufacturers are chipping away at market leaders Apple and Samsung in the tablet space. According to Strategy Analytics’ numbers, unit sales in the tablet market declined 8% year on year to 46.7 million; with Huawei and Lenovo the only two vendors in the market to grow their market share. While White Box, Apple and Samsung shipments shrunk 12%, 9% and 23% respectively; Lenovo and Huawei grew 4% and 15% in the same time frame.

For Apple, Q2 represented the first full quarter in which it distributed the iPad Pro 9.7”, with the premium edition of the tablet helping to level out average selling prices after the release of the slightly cheaper iPhone SE. While iPad sales declined 9% YoY, Android also found itself slowing down with a 15% decline. Windows, however, saw a massive boost to its expansion across the tablet market with a 43% year on year growth as its numbers moved up from 4.6 million units in Q2 2015 to 6.7 million units this year.

“iPad has marked 10 quarters of annual shipment declines but some light is now visible at the end of the tunnel,” said Peter King, Service Director of Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies at Strategy Analytics. “In the same way that Windows tablets gained market share with a wide range of premium to low tier 2-in-1 Tablets, Apple is riding consumer and enterprise demand for 2-in-1s with multiple price tiers of buy-in to its vision of what a converged computing device can achieve. Meanwhile, Android has not been able to break out of its cost-conscious, entertainment-focused roots and until true multi-tasking is available across the installed base, this perception will remain reality. Still, low-cost traditional slate tablets devoted to entertainment do hold value for consumers, reflected in Android’s 64% share.”

The full market breakdown from SA is available below.

Strategy Analytics Tablet Q2 2016 numbers

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