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IDC says tablet shipments continue to drop but hybrids are helping

Posted: , by Michael H.

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IDC says tablet shipments continue to drop but hybrids are helping
The tablet market is in rough shape, that much is impossible to ignore at this point. As smartphones engulfed what had been considered the "phablet" range of sizes, smaller tablets disappeared and larger tablets began merging with laptops. Consumers still seem to be unsure what the value of a standalone tablet may be, but hybrids are finding users according to IDC.

The latest quarterly report from IDC showed that 46.7 million tablets were sold in Q1 of 2016, which marks a 10 percent year-on-year drop and a 33 percent decline compared to the Q4 holiday sales for 2015. Interestingly, despite the sales numbers dropping, the average selling price per device has held steady at $241 which means there are more higher priced tablets being sold. Of course, this is really just because of the trickiness of laptop hybrids being included in the numbers. Even though many laptop hybrids may never actually be used as a tablet, because that possibility is there, they get counted in these numbers, which seems shady at best. 

This can be seen with the disparity between sales shares and value share (aka $$$$) in the IDC numbers. Despite Windows devices being only 14 percent of the shipments, they made up 20 percent of the value, because many were more pricey laptop hybrids. And, Apple was 22 percent of shipments (on both OEM and platform charts) but 39 percent of value, because Apple devices carry higher price tags. On the other end of things, Android made up a massive 64 percent of shipments, but just 41 percent of value because white label super cheap tablets still dominate shipments (28 percent of OEM) of the sales share.

IDC says tablet shipments continue to drop but hybrids are helping

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posted on 11 Jun 2016, 18:41

1. zunaidahmed (Posts: 1028; Member since: 24 Dec 2011)

Most third world countries are still using laptops. Mostly because wireless internet access is still hard, I think the tablet market will see a bit more increase sometime later, probably after 3-5years, then the market would come to an actual saturation.

posted on 12 Jun 2016, 04:19 1

15. sgodsell (Posts: 4757; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

I don't think so. Most big phones (phablets), especially the ones greater than 5.5" are just like tablets. So smartphones have already canalized there own smartphone world. There is no need for a tablet that is 7" - 10", especially if you have a 6" phablet.

I notice above Android still has 64% of the tablet sales.

posted on 11 Jun 2016, 18:41 2

2. darkkjedii (Posts: 24444; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Most of us just don't see the need to upgrade a tablet, as often as a phone. I'm keeping my Air 2, until it's no longer supported, or a killer deal for a 256 gig Pro pops up on Craigslist.

posted on 11 Jun 2016, 19:02 3

3. kiko007 (Posts: 5220; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)

The "Phablet" has supplanted any need for a tablet for most consumers IMO. One could see it coming with the popularity of the Note Series, that eventually the tablet market would decay without some sort of vice to keep would be customers interesting. Any thoughts on who MIGHT be able to succeed in making a killer tablet in this "5.5 in. and above" tech world we live in?

posted on 11 Jun 2016, 19:03

4. kiko007 (Posts: 5220; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


posted on 12 Jun 2016, 04:47

17. sgodsell (Posts: 4757; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

I agree that phablets have already replaced a lot of consumers tablet needs. I think new innovations are still coming all the time in this world.

I look at Lenovo's/Motorola's new Moto Z which has a QHD 5.5" AMOLED display puts it in the phablet category. However this is only the second consumer device to offer modules that adds real value and new functionality to their phablet. So consumers and businesses could buy a jbl stereo speakers module with an extra battery, pico projector module, a zoom camera module, doctors and nurses could use a blood glucose, and blood pressure module, designers and contractors could use a Tango module (live measurements, with AR), mechanics could use a module with cans support, and a odb II connector for vehicles, and more.

So having the ability to actually install new features and functionality to a phablet at anytime, easily, and quickly, without turning on and off the device. This will be the new tablet killer, unless they add the same modular features to the tablet. If a tablet doesn't offer this, then I still see the tablet dropping it's numbers even more.

posted on 11 Jun 2016, 21:49 1

10. KingSam (Posts: 542; Member since: 13 Mar 2016)

I'll get the nvidia or Asus zenpad 8 to play games and give my phone a releif

posted on 11 Jun 2016, 21:59

11. kiko007 (Posts: 5220; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)

That's exactly what I do too. Like when your phone's running hot so you put it down for a while. And when I want to binge on TV/Anime. That's one of the reasons I want hololens to take off lol. Just so I can goof off on weekends :D.

posted on 11 Jun 2016, 23:34

13. Martineverest (Posts: 481; Member since: 27 Oct 2015)

Android tablets are sinking fast... It will be more disastrous when oems switch to windows hybrid, an emerging sector

posted on 12 Jun 2016, 00:29 1

14. DRS1977 (Posts: 498; Member since: 27 May 2015)

Just wait until Chromebooks get Android app support, then we will see what happens.

posted on 12 Jun 2016, 05:57

21. sgodsell (Posts: 4757; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

Android tablets are not sinking fast. It still has 64% of the tablet market. That was the % a year ago.. Besides that Android tablets have access to the same apps that users have on their phones and phablets. There is a real tangible benefit to those apps on the play store (all 2 million of them).

posted on 12 Jun 2016, 06:13 1

24. tedkord (Posts: 13863; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

ALL tablets are sinking fast, because it was a fad product. Not much more capable than a large phone, way less capable than a laptop.

posted on 12 Jun 2016, 04:25

16. xondk (Posts: 1904; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)

Well tablets and such don't really outdate as fast as sellers want apparently, if you buy a tablet for browsing and whatnot it is likely going to be working for years upon years, because of the power they already have, same with laptops and such, only real thing that is getting more demanding for power is gaming... market is good and full.

posted on 12 Jun 2016, 05:55

20. Shocky (unregistered)

Most Android tablets are outdated on launch, only reason they sell is because it's become a must have children's toy, that includes iPad's.

There aren't many high end Tablets running Android, the only front runner is the Pixel C as everything else is running SN810 or slower right now.

The majority of tablet sales are cheap trash, performance for the general consumer market has long reached the point where increased performance will go unnoticed so fewer users upgrade or see a reason to upgrade.

I don't even class the hybrid devices as tablets personally.

posted on 12 Jun 2016, 06:02 1

22. ibend (Posts: 6633; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

its been long time since I use my tablet (the old note 10.1), I dont feel I ever need to use it anymore

and for now, I'll choose some cheap atom+win10 tablet like cube i7 stylus, teclast's, or other.. since normal tab is just oversized and overpriced phone

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