Tablet sales drop for the 12th consecutive quarter from July through September

Apple is the top provider of tablets globally

Apple is the top provider of tablets globally


Shipments of tablets declined 5.4% in the third quarter on a year-over-year basis, according to the latest data from IDC. That marks the 12th consecutive quarter of declining shipments for the sector. 40 million units were shipped during the three months that ended on the last day of September. That compares with the 42.3 million slates that were delivered during the third quarter of 2016.

Leading the way with 10.3 million iPad tablets shipped in the quarter, was Apple. The 11.4% year-over-year gain in shipments helped Apple increase its market share in the tablet industry from 21.9% to 25.8%. Behind Apple was Samsung. Relying on its lower priced Tab A and Tab E models, Samsung shipped 6 million units in the third quarter, a decline of 7.9% from last year's three-month period. The manufacturer still has 15% of the tablet market.

Thanks to its strategy of using aggressive pricing, Amazon's shipments from July through September soared by 38.7%. That means that Amazon shipped 4.4 million slabs during those three months, giving it a 10.1% market share as far as tablets are concerned. Fourth place Huawei also had a strong quarter, with deliveries of tablets up 18.8% year-over-year. The 3 million slates that Huawei shipped means that the company now owns 7.5% of the market. And rounding out the top five is Lenovo, just a tad behind Huawei with a 7.4% slice of the global tablet pie. Lenovo also shipped 3 million units in the quarter, a gain of 8.9% from the 2016 period.

Eventually, the tablet market will bottom out. But with the size of handset screens getting larger, there is some cannibalization of tablet sales. While new innovations have been limited, there is speculation that Apple will equip its 2018 iPad Pro tablets with the TrueDepth Camera and Face ID feature used on the Apple iPhone X. That might help Apple continue to grow its tablet shipments next year.

source: IDC

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19 Comments

1. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

The big phones kill the tablets. BTW they both are same devices. Simly the big smartphones are pocketable. On the other side , convertable ultrabooks (x2) also kill the so called "tablets", offering real OS and productivity

2. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2253; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Tablet sales will pick up at the end of this month because the Apple iPad (9.7 inch) will be discounted to around $200 which is a bargain for anyone who wants a tablet. However, I also think it should be noted that besides Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft with it's Surface tablet, every other manufacturer has largely abandoned making any kind of high end tablet or one with good enough hardware on it. I've used the Amazon Fire tablets and they're so underpowered that it's a chore to have to use them for anything other than Netflix. Every other tablet that is priced around the $200 range is the same in terms of being underpowered and no real need for it other than showing videos. So I can understand why people aren't buying tablets because they're more than likely picking up the cheap ones and then having a bad user experience (due to slowness and limited usability). EDIT: And it should be noted too, that it's not really feasible to buy an Android tablet for $200 when you can buy a well equipped Chromebook that now runs Android apps.

8. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

I hate web surfing on a under Power tablet. Waiting on web pages to load. Ugh.

13. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Chromebooks are not ideal devices for anything in my opinion. They aren't optimized for tablet work or laptop work, so either way those buyers will get the finger when they try to use it seriously. Sales of the iPad is increasing y-o-y. Lenovo and Microsoft also make 2 in 1 devices just like Google that's why they continue to fail in the tablet market. People still don't want a 2 in 1 which cannot be used properly as a laptop or a tablet. Android OEMs like Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG should come up with good tablets with competitive price points (that means low prices than iPad obviously) if they wanna turn the table here. Google Pixel tablet failed because of it's price mainly and lack of features. Stock android cannot be marketed well, nobody likes boring products, people want features. Sony's Xperie Z3 tab is an awesome tablet.

15. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2253; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I use a couple Chromebooks myself, one is an 11 inch one that I got from Black Friday last year for around $150 and the other is a 14 inch Acer that I bought for around $230. They're both great for what I use them for. The 11 inch I toss in my overnight bag for when I'm taking a short trip somewhere and it's just handy to have. The larger one I use more like a laptop. If you had said 3 or 4 years ago that you didn't understand the purpose of a Chromebook I would've agreed with you 100%, but now that you can use Android apps from the Play Store along with regular Microsoft Office it really is just a very light skinned laptop. No it can't do anything like edit movies or render anything, but for something that you can take with you to write up emails, documents, watch movies, etc. it's great. Not to mention the best part is that if for whatever reason I lose it or it's stolen, I'm only out like $200 versus $1000. The problem with Android tablets is that there is no real differentiation from using it versus a phone. It used to be that the tablet OS was different and had added features than the phone counterpart but that isn't true anymore. And the other problem is that now the Android manufacturers are using the exact same specs (sometimes even worse specs) in their tablets than they do their phones. It's pretty sad when Apple is able to put their A-X series chipsets in their tablets that give it more horsepower when Android manufacturers simply reuse a Snapdragon 820 for theirs.

3. Tziggy14

Posts: 622; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

It would be ironic if the Fire tablets actually surpass the Samsung Galaxy Tab line.

4. GreenMan

Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

No surprise that Apple is the top provider. The current 9.7" iPad at just $329 is a GREAT deal, even for a penny pincher like me! But... Then you come back to your senses and realize that you can get an nice Windows 10 Laptop for that much with full Microsoft Office Suite and all the bells and whistles! Like The Lenovo IdeaPad 110 with 4 Gigs of RAM, 17 Inch Display and 500GB of storage! And suddenly, the 'excellent' iPad 2017 starts to feel like a... Squishy toy! Microsoft has killed mobile tablets with Windows 10, honestly! Oh well, G'Day!

5. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2253; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

If you don't mind lugging around a 17 inch laptop. Also, it should be noted that it probably won't feel comfortable having that 17 inch laptop in your lap while you're sitting on the couch as I'm sure it has air vents that will blow hot air on you.

12. worldpeace

Posts: 3092; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

It's not hard to find 12", 13", 14", 15" version of that laptop, with similar specs and price

16. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2253; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Yes, but unless it's a low-powered laptop it's still going to be blowing out hot air and usually the less expensive laptops are generally bulky. The high end ones tend to be slimmer and lighter.

17. GreenMan

Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Doc, I've a Intel Core M hybrid Laptop built on 14nm and has a TDP of just 4.5W and it's as power as Intel Core 2 Duo "Extreme" edition once its turbo is spooling! It comes with 4,000mAh x 2 batteries (One in the tablet, the other is housed in the keyboard panel) and it's a great computer with great battery life and EXTREMELY snappy performance, even on Windows 10. Boots-up faster than iPhone 7 Plus! And... I bought it for mere $350! Came pre-installed with Windows 8.1 and I received an update to Windows 10 absolutely FREE! But of course, a youth would appreciate a tablet more! G'Day!

6. Xilam unregistered

Why do people compare tablets to laptops? They’re different product that aim to provide different experiences. MS surface is actually a laptop that has a dumbdown feature to run tablet apps. iPad is a media consumption device, iPad Pro is a creativity tool for those that like to draw and create. Laptops are production tools for those on the go. They cross each other likes here or there but not because they were designed to - but because they’re capable. You buy the best of what you need for what you can afford.

18. GreenMan

Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Things is, a hybrid laptop can do ALL the things an iPad can do + some more... WAY MORE! I don't think I've to write down the differences between The King a.k.a Windows 10 and iOS 11!

10. japkoslav

Posts: 1373; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

No i don't think that M$ killed Windows tablets, but Intel did drasticly slowed upgrade cycle for passively cooled Intel Atoms / Core Ms. Windows 10 on a tablet is imho ok experience, it certainly can be better, but you are not limited by OS as you are on iOS or Android. I am stilll waiting for a Acer Switch 7 Editon as an interesting "reference tablet" for future products.

7. UKGUY3

Posts: 11; Member since: Aug 12, 2017

I'm getting used to a smaller phone (compacy Sony), after a Nexus 6P. An I've just started using Pixcel C tablet at home, suits me better. Carrying bigger phones was becoming cumbersome. Pockets aren't that big!

9. japkoslav

Posts: 1373; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

There are no new Android tablets on a market. At least none that matters, that could push this market forward. There are only low ends with mediateks, no high end or multimedia deviced like Lenovo Yoga ... not anymore.

11. MDave

Posts: 210; Member since: Apr 09, 2015

Samsung needs to stop selling crap. Their current tablet line-up is lazy, overpriced and simply not competitive. No wonder they're not selling. This is from an Android guy, mind you.

14. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1511; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Market got over saturated, most everyone that wanted a tablet has a tablet. Windows 2 in 1 devices have gotten far more competitive as well. Tablets last longer than phones as well. I've got 5 tablets, all of them 2 to 5 years old.

19. TheOracle1

Posts: 1917; Member since: May 04, 2015

Agreed. Tablets have much longer replacement cycles. I have two that are 3 and 2 years old and I'm not planning on buying another for a while unless it's a present for someone.

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