According to the report, 44.7 million tablets were shipped in the second quarter of 2015. Apple continued to lead the pack with 10.9 million iPads sold, followed by Samsung (7.6 million), Lenovo (2.5 million), Hauwei (1.6 million), and LG (1.6 million).
IDC attributed the decline to competition from smartphones and higher production quality. “Longer life cycles, increased competition from other categories such as larger smartphones, combined with the fact that end users can install the latest operating systems on their older tablets has stifled the initial enthusiasm for these devices in the consumer market,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst.
Ubrani expects that new designs will boost sales: “But with newer form factors like 2-in-1s, and added productivity-enabling features like those highlighted in iOS9, vendors should be able to bring new vitality to a market that has lost its momentum.”
He could be correct in his prediction of how the market will turn around, but I don’t know that we can be sure that the market is actually in decline.
The problem with these figures is that while they include both standard tablets like the iPad, as well as 2-in-1 machines like the ASUS Zenbook and Surface tablet, they don’t include smaller tablets. IDC has told us in the past that they exclude sub-7″ tablets like the Fire HD 6, so their estimates are at best an incomplete view of the tablet market.