Cheap, lousy tablets are killing the whole market says IDC

Amazon and Huawei sales up, everyone else is drooping

It sounds like a big number, but the 43 million tablets that shipped in Q3 2016 are a disaster for vendors, according to prognosticator IDC.

The overall market declined 14.3 per cent year-on-year, the analyst house says, dragged down by poor sales at the top end of the market, with consumers switching to cheapies.

There's a bright spot, with a 9.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in shipments as vendors get ready for the holiday quarter.

Other than that, the market's in a dire state indeed.

The only named vendors to show year-on-year growth were Amazon with its Fire tablets (up 320 per cent year-on-year but still only taking 7.3 per cent of the market) and Huawei (up 28.4 per cent to 5.6 per cent of the market).

Even though Apple's shipments fell 6.2 per cent, bigger falls from Lenovo (down 10.8 per cent) and Samsung (down 19.3 per cent) meant Cupertino's market share grew slightly, from 19.6 per cent in Q3 2015 to 21.5 per cent in the quarter just ended.

Vendor 3Q16 Unit Shipments 3Q16 Market Share 3Q15 Unit Shipments 3Q15 Market Share Year-Over-Year Growth
1. Apple 9.3 21.50% 9.9 19.60% -6.20%
2. Samsung 6.5 15.10% 8.1 16.00% -19.30%
3. 3.1 7.30% 0.8 1.50% 319.90%
4. Lenovo 2.7 6.30% 3.1 6.00% -10.80%
5. Huawei 2.4 5.60% 1.9 3.70% 28.40%
Others 19 44.20% 26.9 53.20% -29.20%
Total 43 100.00% 50.5 100.00% -14.70%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, October 31, 2016

IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani is worried that sub-US$200 detachables are going to spoil the market for everyone: “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”. ®

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