IDG's mobile device shipment estimates for last quarter are stark reminder of consumers' priorities. The tea leaf readers revealed earlier this month that global smartphone shipments rose 2.7% in the third quarter, 373.1 million units, while at the same time tablet shipments fell 5.4%, to 40 million units.
As you can see in the following chart, four of the top tablet makers all gained market share last quarter. Samsung did not, but it still held on to second place.
"There's a penchant for low-cost slates and this holds true even for premium vendors like Apple," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "However, many of these low-cost 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 declines further in the coming years."
In the smartphone market, all five of the major smartphone makers increased shipments while Samsung continued to take the top spot.
"As much of the focus has been on the wide range of high-profile flagship smartphones launched or announced in Q3, it is also important to look at what is happening with the rest of the industry," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "Collectively, the industry continues to grow, but at a much slower pace than past years. What is clear is that the 'Others' outside of the top 5 leading vendors continue to struggle and the industry leaders are quickly forming two camps. First, those able to drive significant volumes at the high end, which right now is basically Samsung, Apple, and Huawei, despite high-profile launches from Google, Essential, LG, and others. Second, a few other Chinese OEMs that are making tremendous headway outside of the China domestic market."