Tablet sales down 5% YoY but up 2% sequentially in Q3

Tablet sales are falling and cheap lousy devices are to blame

Tablet sales are falling and cheap lousy devices are to blame

You won't find answers to far-reaching, long-term questions in the latest International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, which looks pretty much the same as the research company's previous few reports.

IDC (Framingham, Mass.) maintains that the tablet market is caught in "an awkward middle ground that it has not been able to escape" precipitated by the growing demand for smartphones, the lengthening replacement cycle of tablets and the strengthening position of traditional PCs.

Apple maintained its long-held title as world's biggest tablet maker, with 10.3 million units shipped during the July-September quarter giving it 25.8 of the world total. Apple continued to lead the market with sales of 10.3 million iPads and a 23.1 percent market share in Q3, up from 19.8 percent in Q3 2016, having strung together two straight quarters of year-on-year growth.

Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst at IDC, said that buyers expressed a preference for affordable tablets across the board, even in the case of Apple's iPad lineup.

"However, many of these low-priced slates are simply long-awaited replacements for consumers as first-time buyers are becoming harder to find and the overall installed base for these devices delcines further in the coming years".

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The tablet market really took off when the original Apple iPad launched in 2010.

- Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.

Once again, global shipments are down year-over-year, this time by 5.4 percent, which actually compares favorably to a huge 14.7 percent annual decline in Q3 2016 numbers, but not so much to the 3.4 percent dip in Q2 sales. The affordable Galaxy Tab A and E series helped it hold onto a second-place second position, and the company has a premium image thanks to high-priced tablets such as the Galaxy Tab S3.

According to an IDC survey, owners of both convertibles and detachables are more likely to recommend a convertible laptop instead of a detachable gadget. The manufacturer still has 15% of the tablet market. "The 2017 holiday season may prove to be a critical crossroad for the detachables category".

All other vendors saw a collective year-over-year decline in shipments of 26.3 percent, falling from 18.1 million devices sold during last year's third quarter to 13.3 million during the same period this year. Both companies continue to focus on affordable devices in Asia/Pacific and Western Europe, according to IDC. Huawei and Lenovo are sitting together at 4th with 3 million units each.

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