iPads Lead Tablet Market into Steep Sales Decline

Sales of Apple’s iPads are in a disaster-like downward spiral, according to IDC, which said they were down 22% in 2015 compared to 2014.

Other tablet makers could not take advantage of the iPad’s startling decline and, as a result, the entire tablet market declined 10%. Samsung and Asus contributed to the decline with decreases of 16% and 40% respectively.

Microsoft’s much ballyhooed Surface tablet did not even make the top 5. Nor did Amazon’s Fire tablet. Tablets from Asus,

Huawei and Lenovo outsold Microsoft and Amazon’s tablets.

What’s wrong with the tablet market?

Most consumers see no need to buy one because they use their smartphones as they would a tablet.

Also, tablets don’t wear out like smartphones do.

Users don’t carry tablets wherever they go, which substantially reduces the wear and tear that tablets get.

Secondly, people use tablets far less than they do their smartphones, which results in fewer drops. Third, for most people, tablets are used only for browsing and watching videos so consumers don’t demand all the latest features as they do with their smartphones.


Apple’s iPad: year-on-year new shipments down 22% for 2015


The biggest reason is that tablet users haven’t been given a major reason to buy a new iPad so they keep on using their old one.

IDC reports that Q4 2015 was the fifth straight quarter in which there was a year-over-year decrease: 65.9 million units shipped, down 13.7% from the 76.4 million units that shipped the same quarter last year. For the year of 2015, shipments were 206.8 million, down 10.1% from the 230.1 million shipped in 2014.

In Q4 2015, of the top five vendors that accounted for 54.2% of the market, up from 51.0 percent a year ago, only Amazon and Huawei increased their market share over the prior year.
In Q4 the market shares of Apple and Samsung both declined.  For the year, the top three tablet makers were:
1. Apple
2. Samsung
3. Lenovo
4. Asus
5. Huawei

For the year Apple dropped 3.6 points to 24.0%. IDC said the  iPad Pro beat Microsoft’s Surface Pro and helped Apple reduce
its decline in iPad revenues. Huawei broke into the top five for the first time, increasing  its annual share to 3.1%.

IDC predicts that the biggest trend in 2016 is the transition to detachable devices. It said that in 2015 pure slate tablets declined 21.1 percent. Shipments of tablets with detachable keyboards more than doubled since the fourth quarter of last year.

IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said, “This quarter was unique as we had new detachables in the market from all three of the major platform players. Despite lukewarm reviews, the iPad Pro was the clear winner this season as it was the top selling detachable, surpassing notable entries from Microsoft and other PC vendors. It’s also important to note that the transition towards detachable tablets has presented positive opportunities …

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