Tablet shipments dipped for the 13th straight quarter, IDC finds

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,695   +124
Staff member

The worldwide tablet market experienced yet another quarter of declining shipments. According to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, manufacturers collectively shipped 49.6 million slates during the most recent holiday quarter – a 7.9 percent drop compared to the 53.8 million tablets that shipped during Q4 2016.

Apple retained its position as market share leader, shipping 13.2 million iPads during the fourth quarter of 2017 – an increase of 0.6 percent over the 13.1 million units it shipped during the 2016 holiday period.

Amazon had the best showing, however, as shipments of its various Kindle devices climbed from 5.2 million units in Q4 2016 to 7.7 million this past year.

On the bright side, the worldwide detachable tablet market (systems with removable keyboards) grew to 6.5 million units in the fourth quarter, a year-over-year increase of 10.3 percent.

Lauren Guenveur, senior research analyst for IDC's Devices and Displays team, said that after a concerning downturn in the last quarter of 2016 and the first half of 2017, they are elated to see the detachable market maintain another quarter of growth.

With the first wave of Windows on ARM products expected to begin shipping in the second quarter of 2018, Guenveur said IDC believes the detachables category has the potential to continue its growth trajectory.

Traditional slate tablets continued to ship in large volumes, reaching 43.1 million units during the fourth quarter and 141.7 million for the full year. As you’ve likely noticed, traditional devices do not offer much in terms of productivity and have been largely relegated to simple media consumption devices. Some vendors are even using traditional tablets as a portal to their larger ecosystems or simply to promote their brand within the broader gadget market, IDC said.

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JackTheBear

Posts: 21   +13
So it looks like all the decent tablets are doing ok or even increasing, but all the crappy ones are losing market share. That's how it's supposed to work, right? So really the story is that crappy tablet shipments have dipped for the 13th straight quarter. Good.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,230   +3,475
So much for the "end of PC's, because tablets are going to replace them" chant we got from so-called experts.
Anyone with an ounce of sense (I.e. many Techspot readers) knew this was nonsense. What most people actually need is a tablet that comes with a removable or wired k/b cover that can clip onto the *back* of the tablet as well. It should have the processing and visual power of a mid-range laptop from five years ago and ideally the k/b should have a trackpad. There's no technological barrier to this except for battery, and the answer to that is simple: make the tablets a little thicker. Ultra-thin design provides no real advantage unless you're a woman with the most overloaded purse on the planet. If you're a businessperson then you'll be doing serious work on your laptop or you'll have a briefcase.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,083   +1,234
Tablets are big phones that can't make calls.
I'm surprised anyone thought they were a good idea.
 

centrino207

Posts: 160   +10
Not surprised people don't want to spend $600 to $900 for both a tablet and laptop.

Most people don't have that kind of money or want to spend that kind money.

May be in 5 or 10 years the technology will get better but for now tablets are big stripped down version of laptop.

And iOS and android is joke for $500+ tablet.
 
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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,601   +6,114
I use my tablet each morning to read the news, etc. but I'm confined to my nearest hotspot. For that sort of thing it is more convenient than a laptop. It would be better if I could receive calls and use the cell service for data too, but those are minor inconveniences. As long as they keep selling, it's worth it to the Mfg. to keep making them, but there is a balance point. I've been looking but haven't found it yet, but I'm sure it's there .....
 

centrino207

Posts: 160   +10
I use my tablet each morning to read the news, etc. but I'm confined to my nearest hotspot. For that sort of thing it is more convenient than a laptop. It would be better if I could receive calls and use the cell service for data too, but those are minor inconveniences. As long as they keep selling, it's worth it to the Mfg. to keep making them, but there is a balance point. I've been looking but haven't found it yet, but I'm sure it's there .....
Tablets are okay but not laptop replacement.

They are too limited with androind or ios for power users or people that use laptop running two or more programs at the same time or doing work.

I hope the technology get better and in future you can put Windows, Linux or OS-X on it.
 

mrtraver

Posts: 462   +188
I've always enjoyed using tablets as portable gaming/media devices, and I've always hated typing on tablets and phones and have never thought of them as "productivity" devices.

I'm in the market for a new 7"-8" Android tablet but I'm not finding any decent $200 range devices. Google Play is non-negotiable, so Amazon tablets are out. Everything else seems to be low-end junk or overpriced Samsungs. I long for an updated (and affordable) Nexus 7 or Nvidia Shield K1. For gaming my old eyes prefer the larger screen of a tablet even though my phone is probably more powerful.
 

poohbear

Posts: 521   +409
I used to own a tablet until it broke from a simple 1 meter drop. Did I replace it? Absolutely not, I hardly ever used it to justify paying for another one. Just like this article said it was entertaining to use every now and then for media, but other than that it hardly got used.
 

tipstir

Posts: 2,854   +199
Transparent tablets might save the market for them. I know I got hit very hard for the lost of Coby Kyros in 2013 after they were sued by Philip's Electronics put the out of business. After that Toshiba Tablets flopped as well I've invested so much money into tablet development just have the market take a nose dive. At Costco I did see two versions of Android Tablets made by Samsung with very old Android OS versions. I only have one Windows 10 Tablet which I hardly use. I am on a Windows 10 laptop right now typing this to you. Tablet would be a killer if they were marketed better and was so darn expensive. Make it affordable and make it fun to you.
 

lazer

Posts: 361   +106
I have several tablets and several laptops. I use the computers for work and major surfing whereas, I love the portability of the tablets to enable me to read books when I travel each day. I do a bit of surfing on the tablet and once in a great while email from it, but I love it for reading.

I take my 10" every day on the bus to work but on week ends I take my older small one to the beach (in the summer) so if it get lost, stolen or destroyed not a big loss.

each has a different unique purpose to me.