European consumers flock to tablets amidst sudden need for education and leisure devices, leading to segment’s first growth spurt in six years
The tablet market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) soared by 23.8 percent year-on-year to 11.9 million units in the second quarter of 2020, analysts IDC found.
The devices showed their first positive growth in six years in the region and their strongest growth since 2013, when the market was not yet mature, IDC said.
The consumer segment was the main driver, with 27.1 percent year-on-year growth, as users faced the sudden need to acquire devices for leisure and education purposes during the novel coronavirus lockdown.
“Demand in Western Europe remained healthy throughout the whole quarter as tablets emerged as a reliable and affordable alternative for consumers to meet their needs for content consumption and provide access to remote schooling during the lockdown,” said IDC analyst Helena Ferreira.
She added that the second quarter’s strong growth was due in part to “severe” supply chain constraints earlier in the year that resulted in pent-up demand.
Tablets grew 28.3 percent year-on-year in Western Europe in the second quarter, while Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa grew by 26.9 percent and 10.8 percent year-on-year respectively.
The two regions’ growth was “stronger than predicted”, in part driven by a lack of notebooks for the market, according to IDC EMEA associate vice president Stefania Lorenz.
“Tablets were not expected to be the first choice for home-schooling or home-working, but younger students and children were equipped with tablets instead of notebooks,” she said.
“The ‘forced’ working and schooling from home has pushed demand to high volumes in both CEE and MEA.”
Samsung retained its lead in EMEA, particularly through large deployments in some developing economies, while Apple remained in second position with popular iPad education offerings.
Huawei remained in third place, increasingly aggressive in pushing its tablet devices through promotional campaigns and bundles, while Lenovo at No. 4 showed growing demand in the education sector.
Amazon, meanwhile, benefited from a general jump in online sales to regain fifth place.
The EMEA tablet market is expected to jump 10.9 percent year-on-year in the third quarter before ending the full-year with 3.7 percent growth.
Three months ago, IDC had expected the tablet market to slow down beginning in June, but this didn’t occur.
More devices per household
It said it expects the increase in the number of devices per household to contribute to third-quarter growth.
IDC research manager Daniel Goncalves said spending that would otherwise have gone toward holidays or other activities has instead been allocated to home entertainment, which has benefited tablets.
“It’s not just a matter of necessity – it’s also being facilitated by the current situation,” Goncalves said.
Education is expected to continue to boost tablet sales in the third quarter due to online schooling, while IDC said it expects conservative demand for the fourth quarter and beyond.