Tablet market falls 15% as low-cost devices lead sales

Weakened market caused by 'low-cost detachables" sees third-quarter tablet sales fall by 15%

Best Tablets 2015

Worldwide sales of tablet devices fell by almost 15% in the third-quarter of 2016, with Apple, Samsung and Lenovo all seeing market losses.

Vendors shipped 43 million units in the third quarter, an increase of 9.8% over the previous quarter but significantly down from the 51 million sold this time last year.

The report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) has attributed poor growth the increasing popularity of cheap devices, and has warned that the tablet industry could suffer from a 'race to the bottom'.

"Unfortunately, many low-cost detachables also deliver a low-cost experience," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst at IDC.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"The race to the bottom is something we have already experienced with slates and it may prove detrimental to the market in the long run as detachables could easily be seen as disposable devices, rather than potential PC replacements," added Ubrani.

The largest loss came from Samsung tablet sales, which surprisingly avoided fallout from negative press surrounding the Note 7. Instead, Samsung's overreliance on slate tablets has resulted in a 19.3% drop in growth for the company, shipping only 6.5 million devices, down from 8.1 million.

Apple saw a year-over-year growth decline of 6.2%, but has managed to retain flat revenue for the quarter thanks to sales of the iPad Pro.

The IDC shows Apple still retains the largest market share at 19.6%, followed by Samsung at 16%.

The growth comes as Amazon continues a "strategy of selling low-cost tablets as a gateway and companion to its ecosystem," according to the IDC report.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"Beyond the different end-user experience delivered by low and high-end tablets, we're witnessing real tectonic movements in the market," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director at IDC.

"Slate companion devices sold at the low end are serving a broader platform strategy, like Amazon is doing with Alexa on its Fire Tablets, while more expensive productivity tools closer to true computing and legitimate notebook replacement devices should help to keep average prices up," added Bouchard.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now


Business strategy

Apple launches new TV, gaming and finance services

25 Mar 2019

Apple MacBook Pro 16in review: A little bigger, a lot better

10 Jan 2020
cloud computing

Microsoft has an edge on AWS, according to IT executives

8 Jan 2020

Best smartphone 2019: Apple, Samsung and OnePlus duke it out

24 Dec 2019

Most Popular

Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020

Dell XPS 13 (New 9300) hands-on review: Chasing perfection

14 Jan 2020
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020