Apple dominates as tablet shipments grow 4.2%, but sales are predicted to slow


Posts: 8,484   +104
Staff member
The big picture: Like many tech products and services, tablet sales have skyrocketed throughout the pandemic. As always, Apple remains the pack leader, having shipped more slates than second-place Samsung and third-place Lenovo combined.

According to analyst firm IDC, Apple shipped 12.9 million tablets in the second quarter of 2021, up 3.5% year-over-year. That lines up with CEO Tim Cook’s recent announcement that the iPad just experienced its most successful quarter in a decade.

Apple now has a 31.9% share of the tablet market. Second-place Samsung, meanwhile, managed 8 million shipments with a 19.6% share. The Korean giant saw its YoY growth jump 13.3%, but the biggest gains belong to third-place Lenovo. Its 4.7 million shipments mark a massive 64.5% YoY increase.

Thanks to its line of budget tablets that includes our favorite low-cost offering—the Fire HD 10—Amazon also had a good quarter. Its 4.3 million shipments represent a 20.3% YoY jump.

The only top-five company to see a decline was Huawei, which fell to 2.1 million tablet shipments. That's down -53.7% compared to the same period a year earlier, a result of US sanctions that remain in place against the Chinese firm.

Overall, global tablet shipments for 2Q21 were up 4.2% to 40.5 million, while Chromebook shipments, led by HP, were up 68.6% to 12.3 million. But IDC warns that slowing demand combined with the chip shortage means a possible slowdown in sales for both categories.

In other tablet news, we recently saw details of HMD Global’s Nokia T20, a budget slate that could challenge Amazon’s and Samsung’s cheaper offerings. Elsewhere, the iPad Mini looks set to receive its biggest ever redesign this fall.

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Posts: 6,306   +7,249
I remember when iPad first debuted and so many other companies rushed out to release their own tablets with more features, more cameras, etc.

Apple has proven that slow and steady wins the race.

Especially when you have a closed ecosystem that forces everyone to make a choice between "yours" and "everyone else".


Posts: 6,476   +7,346
It might help, if Apple finally updates the Mini in September. I don't know why they chose to neglect perhaps the most popular of their models, if it wasn't for the slow updates.


Posts: 2,257   +4,397
While Samsung is doing ok all things considered, the only reason I decided not to consider a Samsung tablet was the lack of 4:3 screen format: Yes I realize I'm in the minority here and that most people just want to use tablets to watch video. 16:9 is just better for modern videos if that's the case.

But for me at least, reading was the most important use of the tablet: something better and more powerful than an e-reader (Though some color e-ink tablets are about to start to appear with less-than-unusable refresh rates where you don't need to wait 5-10 seconds just to turn a page, I might re-consider) but that can still do tablet things: entry level ipad works ok for that.

Weird thing is that Samsung used to have 4:3 tablets up until a couple generations ago.


Posts: 2,074   +1,654
I replaced my laptop with an iPad a few years ago. Unless you specifically need Windows for anything tablets are far better travel devices. The only machine I have windows on now is my desktop gaming PC. Which is now beginning to feel a bit like a piano.

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,283   +2,864
TechSpot Elite
Have iPad and laptops and it depends on what you like to do. I'm usually also doing something else when using either of these so the hands-free ergonomics of an adjustable screen as well as the always convenient keyboard of the laptop just win for me. I used to use the iPad (Mini 2, so great screen) a lot more but with traveling less, the size and touch convenience is lost, replaced by the better desk ergonomics of the laptop.


Posts: 38   +125
I replaced my laptop with an iPad a few years ago. Unless you specifically need Windows for anything tablets are far better travel devices. The only machine I have windows on now is my desktop gaming PC. Which is now beginning to feel a bit like a piano.

I got my first iPad (2020 12” Pro) tail end of last year for this precise reason.

I already travel with a work laptop. When hotel-hopping I only need a web browser/streaming device/something to take notes on (I have the Pencil too). It’s the perfect device for that.

(My desktop still rocks an 2600K/OG Titan lol, it’s getting on a bit but does everything I need tbh - I don’t game much on the PC nowadays)


Posts: 141   +155
Apple pretty much sits on 95% (or more) of the tablet market. People don't call them tablets but iPads now.

Most Android tablets comprise of insanely low-end and cheap devices with a terrible user experience (people that cheaped out and did not want to pay the money a decent tablet cost).

The only other decent tablet for some people is probably the Samsung Galaxy Tab line but it barely sells since price is just as high as iPads anyway.

Personally I have an iPad collecting dust, not because it's a bad device but because I don't have a need for it. Company gave it to me. I only need a Phone, Laptop and a gaming PC .. oh and my HTPC + NAS/Server ^^