Latest IDC report shows decrease in global tablet shipments in 2018

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), numbers for global tablet shipments have decreased. With an 11.7 percent year-over-year decline, the shipments reached 31.7 million whereas 35.8 million units were shipped during the same quarter in 2017.

In the report, IDC’s results measure the total tablet market which includes slate tablets as well as detachable tablets. Traditional slate tablet specifically shipped 26.8 million units, bringing its shipments down by 13.9 percent from 2017.

While the overall number of global tablet shipments saw a decrease, preliminary data shows that the Microsoft Surface and iPad Pro experienced more than 2.9 percent year-over-year growth. With Apple snagging the top spot for the most tablets shipped in the first quarter, Samsung took second place with Huawei in third.

IDC estimates that Apple shipped 9.1 million iPads — of those shipments, 1.8 million were iPad Pro tablets. This makes Apple the current leader in the detachable market. But its high numbers could be in part to the new 9.7-inch iPad the company released as part of its educational initiative, which launched right as the quarter was ending.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s shipments declined by 11.4 percent in comparison to last year. While it’s one of the only brands that offers premium Android tablets — such as its Tab S series — it could be tough for the company to keep its spot while running against companies like Apple and Microsoft.

Huawei, on the other hand, saw a 13 percent increase from last year which placed it back into the top three. While a majority of its shipments were from the Asia/Pacific region, it also saw substantial growth in Europe.

Within IDC’s list of the top five tablet companies, Lenovo and Amazon took fourth and fifth place, respectively. While Lenovo grew 1.8 percent since last year, it wasn’t enough to secure a spot as one of the top three companies.

As for Amazon, coming in last place is most likely tied to the fact that their tablets are more seasonal. During the first quarter, the company was instead focused on adding more features to its Alexa platform such as voice assistant for its Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets.

But while the numbers of shipments are down, IDC points to Google’s entrance into the tablet world as a way to bring those numbers back up.

“Peak education buying season is approaching, and Chrome OS has resonated with administrators for its manageability where deployment is strong. Schools looking for that same environment but in tablet form — generally, students aren’t provisioned a device with a keyboard until older — could find favor with these new devices,” Linn Huang, IDC research director, said in a statement.

The company launched its first Chrome OS tablet — Acer Chromebook Tab 10 — back in March. While it doesn’t have a keyboard, it comes packaged with a Wacom-branded stylus.

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