IDC report says tablet sales down during Q2 2018

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The past few years have not been kind to tablet sales, and IDC’s latest report on tablet shipments for Q2 2018 does not look favourable either.

The research firm notes that the number of shipments as a whole is down a significant 13.5 percent quarter on quarter, with Apple and Huawei the only manufacturers to have some sort of growth during that period.

The latter has had a particularly strong Q2 this year, having also claimed second place and surpassed Apple when it comes to smartphone shipments. Huawei’s tablet success was down to their ability to ship large quantities (3.4 million tablets) to countries in Asia and the Pacific.

As for Apple, the launch of a new iPad at the beginning of the year, along with an improvement to its operating system and renewed investment into education are cited as reasons for their growth and top spot in the market.

Shifting back to the stagnant state of the tablets market, this most recent quarterly report makes it 15 quarters in a row that tablet shipments have been on the decline.

Part of the reason why tablets have not done well in Q2 this year may be down to consumers and businesses being cash-strapped in terms of what kinds of mobile devices they can afford.

While there was a noted interest in convertible/detachable tablets, IDC believes consumers would rather spend the money on a notebook or large smartphone.

“Though consumers and businesses alike have shown interest in the detachable form factor, those operating on tighter budgets have had very few options available to them and hence some have opted for traditional PCs. However, with the launch of the Surface Go, Chrome OS-based detachables, and hopefully a more affordable iPad Pro in the future, the detachable category still has a bright future, provided the performance and software lines up with users’ expectations,” explained Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst at IDC.

With a few more devices expected for IFA 2018 in September, as well as more tablets on the way before the year’s end, hopefully some of these companies can bounce back. If recent history is anything to go by though, the chances are slim.


Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.