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Tablet sales remain bitter, but Nougat tipped to sweeten the market

Shipment slump means just the iPhone outsells tablets from all vendors

Tablet computer sales are sliding, sharply, again.

Analyst firms IDC and Canalys both today released their assessments of recent sales and the numbers are ugly.

IDC was able to count 38.7 million shipments for Q2, 2016. That's a year-over-year fall of 12.3 per cent. Canalys' numbers found 35 million shipments, down 16 per cent.

Both firms, by way of contrast, believe iPhones alone accounted for about 40m units in Q2, the slowest quarter for Apple sales. All tablets, therefore, sell less thanks to the iPhone.

Apple leads the tablet market, with 26 per cent of shipments on IDC's spreadsheet and 28 per cent on Canalys'. Samsung and Lenovo hold the other podium positions, with Microsoft sighted somewhere in the finishing straight as demand picks up for convertible tablet/laptops like the Surface range.

Both firms see the forthcoming Android Nougat as sweetening the tablet market, as it will add multi-tasking capabilities that mean 'droid-powered fondleslabs get closer to the kind of experience business users demand. If tablet-makers get it right, both imagine business-oriented Android tablets could take advantage of the detachable market made by the Surface and ”lappable” iPad Pro.

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