Apple’s super-sized iPad takes top spot but overall tablet sales decline as premium devices become more popular than cheap slates
Worldwide tablet sales suffered another quarter of decline as consumers increasing turned to more premium devices, new figures have revealed.
Data from IDC estimated that 65.9 million tablets were shipped in the last three months of 2015, down 13.7 percent from the same period last year.
Overall, total tablet shipments for 2015 were 206.8 million, down 10.1 percent from 230.1 million in the prior year, as users increasingly chose to stick with the device they had rather than looking to upgrade.
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A significant part of the downturn in sales was due to basic ‘slate’ tablets losing their appeal, IDC says, with sales of such devices falling 21.1 percent. This was despite vendors continuing to offer low prices on such devices, with Amazon’s most recent Fire tablet costing less than £50 in the UK.
In its place, however, were sales of detachable tablets, which feature a separate keyboard connected to the device, which more than doubled their shipments since the fourth quarter of last year.
These devices, which include Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, saw huge success thanks to being marketed as PC replacements, with IDC estimating that Apple took first blood in this battle, selling just over two million iPad Pros while Microsoft sold around 1.6 million Surface devices, the majority of which were Surface Pro and not the more affordable Surface 3.
“With these results, it’s clear that price is not the most important feature considered when acquiring a detachable – performance is,” commented Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets at IDC.
Despite suffering a 21.8 percent decline in growth compared to the previous year, Apple maintained its place as the world’s top tablet vendor in 2015, taking 24.0 percent market share. This put the company ahead of Samsung (16.2 percent) and Lenovo (5.4 percent), with Asus and Huawei rounding out the top five.
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