Apple was not one of the top tablet vendors to show growth in Q1
Hot on the heels of the latest quarterly smartphone market reports, the global tablet sales numbers for the January - March 2022 timeframe are now also out and they're... somewhat conflicting.
That's because two different research firms have decided to publish their newest data at pretty much the same time, ranking the same companies in the top four positions while disagreeing and even strongly disagreeing on a few key elements.
First and foremost, Apple is estimated to have shipped 15.8 million iPads during the opening quarter of this year by Strategy Analytics, with the same figure however dropping to "just" 12.1 million units in the IDC's view. Either way, of course, the Cupertino-based tech giant reigned supreme among the world's largest tablet vendors (yet again), and curiously enough, both firms believe the iPad makers took a similar dive in sales between Q1 of 2021 and the same period of 2022.
Then again, Strategy Analytics claims Apple's shipment scores actually improved from the final three months of last year, which would be highly unusual, resulting largely from supply constraints that weren't quite as bad at the beginning of 2022.
With overall tablet sales falling between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022, it's not exactly shocking to see the market's leader go down by 5 or 6 percentage points, but at least one other company managed to boost its figures in the same timeframe.
According to Strategy Analytics, that company is Microsoft, which ranks fifth behind Lenovo, while the IDC thinks silver and bronze medalists Samsung and Amazon were the industry's biggest growers. Interestingly, the IDC ranks Huawei rather than Microsoft in fifth place, with Lenovo's huge year-on-year decline being one of the few things the two research firms can agree on (almost) to the letter.
The other thing is that the market is suffering after getting a huge and mostly unexpected boost in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. Granted, sales numbers remain higher than the industry's "pre-pandemic levels", and with more and more big brands like Xiaomi, Nokia, Honor, and Oppo turning or increasing their attention on low-cost Android tablets with good specs, the recent bleeding could stop relatively soon.
Android tablets, by the way, are not doing as well as they used to, dropping to a new all-time low market share of roughly 50 percent that's... likely to bounce back in the near future.