While the recent International Data Corporation (IDC) report on the state of the global smartphone market shows year-on-year growth to be flat, phone sales are looking quite healthy next to tablet shipments, which have declined for the seventh quarter in a row.
The latest IDC tablet figures show that total tablet sales have fallen by 12.3 percent in Q2 2016 compared to the same period last year. The numbers cover both slate and detachables, which refers to those tablets with a dedicated method of attaching docks, keyboards, or similar accessories.
Apple may have sold 9.2 percent fewer tablets than it did in Q2 2015, but it remains the top manufacturer with 10 million units shipped, giving it a 25.8 percent share of the market. In what is a reverse of the smartphone sector, Samsung lies in second place behind its Cupertino rival; the Korean giant shipped 6 million tablets during the last quarter, down by almost a 25 percent compared to last year.
The rest of the top five is made up of Lenovo in third with 2.5 million sales and a 6.6 percent share, Huawei’s 2.2 million tablet sales puts it in fourth with a 5.6 percent share, and the 1.6 million Kindle Fires Amazon sold gives the online retailer fifth place on a 4 percent share.
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The wide variety of tablets available from different manufacturers means the ‘Others’ category makes up 42.4 percent of the market, a YoY decline of 22.9 percent. Android, meanwhile, remains the most popular OS overall with a 65 percent share. iOS is second with 26 percent, while Windows devices make up 9 percent.
The overall tablet market may be retracting, but it seems that more people are buying detachables.
“The market has spoken, as consumers and enterprises seek more productive form factors and operating systems — it’s the reason we’re seeing continued growth in detachables,” said IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani in a statement. “At present, it’s difficult for Android to compete with iOS or Windows detachable products. However, the next 12 to 18 months will be very interesting, as Google launches the next version of Android with better multi-tasking support and as they begin to bring together their two operating systems.”