Surprise, surprise: tablet sales decline, but Apple increases market lead

Apple ipad

The world’s consumer buying habits are extremely odd, and highlighted even further thanks to new data by research firm IDC. This week, it released world tablet sales figures, and unsurprisingly, they’re steadily declining.

In Q2 2016, tablet sales topped 38.7-million, but that itself is a drop of 12.3% over the same quarter a year ago. That’s enormous.

IDC’s senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani suggests that users don’t consider tablets as a “productive form factor”.

“The market has spoken as consumers and enterprises seek more productive form factors and operating systems – it’s the reason we’re seeing continued growth in detachables,” he explains.

However, while this might not come as a surprise, the fact that Apple has increased its lead in the market even though iPad sales are dropping surely is.

Tablet sales topped 38.7-million, a drop of 12.3% over the same quarter a year ago

65% of tablets shipped during this period were running Android, while just 26% were iOS-based. However, that latter figure jumped by just over a percentage point compared to Q2 2015. The only other risers were second-place Lenovo (5.6% in Q2 2015 to 6.6% in Q2 2016), Huawei (which saw a massive 71% YoY change), and Amazon (growing over 1200% YoY).

The latter figure, IDC notes, is slightly warped, considering that “IDC did not include the 6-inch tablets offered by Amazon in 2Q15”.

While Lenovo is growing in Africa, and Apple continues to somehow eke out an advantage, Ubrani suggests that Android-backed devices could mount a charge once Android Nougat arrives later this year.

“At present, it’s difficult for Android to compete with iOS or Windows detachable products. However, the next 12 to 18 months will be very interesting as Google launches the next version of Android with better multi-tasking support and as they begin to bring together their two operating systems.”

Andy Walker, former editor


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