The world is no longer taken with tablets, global sales slip for the first time

Tablet Sales
Tablet sales have fallen for the first time since the devices went mainstream in 2010, so says research firm IDC.

According to its most recent data, 76.1 million tablets were sold globally by tech firms during Q4 2014, down from 78.6 million for the same period a year earlier. This represents a 3.2 percent drop in sales overall, though take a look at the vendors’ individual figures and you notice some pretty wild variations.

Amazon, for example, saw its October-to-December Kindle Fire sales plummet by a whopping 70 percent compared to a year earlier, with only 1.7 million units shipped during the most recent holiday season compared to 5.8 million in Q4 2013.

Apple, too, experienced a drop, though of a less startling 17.8 percent, according to IDC. The company sold more tablets (21.4 million) than any other vendor during the quarter, though it’s possible the recent release of its large-screen iPhones impacted sales to some extent.

Rival Samsung sold about half as many tablets as Apple at the end of last year (11 million), while its fall in sales was slightly bigger than the Cupertino company’s at 18.4 percent.

In fact, as the table below shows, four of the top five vendors saw a fall in Q4 slate sales, with only Lenovo – likely helped by its strong presence in Asia – managing to buck the trend with a 9.1 percent uptick in sales.

IDC tablet sales Q4 2014

Commenting on the data, IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani described the tablet market as “still very top heavy” in that it continues to rely mostly on Apple and Samsung to push it forward.

The analyst added, “Although Apple expanded its iPad lineup by keeping around older models and offering a lower entry price point of $249, it still wasn’t enough to spur iPad sales given the excitement around the launch of the new iPhones.”

Samsung’s struggles continue, Ubrani said, “as low-cost vendors are quickly proving that mid- to high-priced Android tablets simply aren’t cut out for today’s tablet market.”

One bright spot for the market showed up in the data for the whole of 2014, which saw 229.6 million tablets shipped, marking a 4.4 percent increase on 2013.

So how is 2015 likely to pan out for tablet makers? A myriad of factors are set to haul the business one way or the other, among them increased rivalry in emerging markets, saturation in established ones, the presence of Apple’s large-screen iPhone 6 devices, and the introduction of lighter, increasingly powerful, and competitively priced laptops. You never know, Apple’s expected supersized tablet might even shake things up a bit.

[Source: IDC]

Home Theater

Say goodbye to the box: The future of home theater has no use for receivers

One of the most intriguing new trends to come out of CES 2019 this year comes from a technology that has been around for years. WiSA, now in new LG TVs, has the potential to cut the wires and change the home theater landscape forever.

Samsung's advanced folding phone needed 'total reconfiguration' to make it real

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.

Samsung all but confirms the Galaxy S10 will arrive on Feb. 20, ahead of MWC

Samsung's skipping Mobile World Congress 2019 this year to launch its next big smartphone a week earlier in San Francisco. Considering Samsung teased the "10-year anniversary" of Galaxy devices, we expect to see the Galaxy S10.

Benchmark scores surface for Google's midrange Pixel 3 XL Lite

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.

Rumors say Apple's AirPower wireless charger may finally be in production

At its September event in 2018, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

Beam up the videos: AirPlay support is coming to VLC player

At CES 2019, the developers of VLC player announced they are adding support for Apple's Airplay feature, allowing consumers to beam video and other content from their iPhone and Android devices to an Apple TV. 

The LG G8 ThinQ may arrive at MWC 2019 with an on-screen speaker

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.

Oppo could reveal a new smartphone with a 10x optical zoom

Cracking a solid zoom on smartphones has been a riddle many years in the solving. One company may have finally cracked it though: Oppo may be about to show off a phone with a 10x optical zoom.

Nike’s Adapt BB shoes let you tighten your laces with an iPhone

The new Nike Adapt BB shoe comes with smartphone connectivity that allows the user to tighten the laces using a smartphone while providing the ability to adjust tension throughout the game.

How to switch TicHealth to Google Fit on the Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro

The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro are both much-loved and feature-packed watches, and they offer excellent fitness tracking. Recently, Mobvoi has switched out Google Fit for TicHealth, but you can switch them back. Here's how.

If you're looking for a good laugh, here are 70 questions to ask Siri

Siri has come a long way since her first appearance on the iPhone 4S in 2011. We know she can make appointments and give directions, did you know she can make you laugh too? If you want proof, here are lots of funny questions to ask Siri.

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.