IDC: Migration from Tablets to Hybrids Continues in Q1

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The global tablet market continues to contract in Q1 2017, IDC reports-- shipments are down by 8.5% Y-o-Y to 36.2 million, marking a 10th straight quarter of tablet decline.

The analyst divides the tablet segment in two "very different" categories. The first is detachables, which are packaged with a 1st party keyboard and are actually growing, at least for the most part. The second is slates/traditional tablets, which lack a keyboard and are on "steep" decline following a 2014 shipment peak.

IDC Q1 2017 tablets

"As far as most are aware, the tablet market was created in 2010 with the launch of the original iPad, despite unsuccessful product attempts by other OEMs in the years leading up to this," IDC says. "The rate at which the tablet market grew from 2010 to 2013 was unlike many other consumer-oriented device markets we've seen before. However, it appears for many reasons consumers became less eager to refresh these devices, or in some instances purchase them at all. We continue to believe the leading driver for this was the increased dependency on smartphones, along with rather minimal technology and form factor progression."

In the vendor rankings, Apple continues to lead the Q1 2017 market despite a 13th consecutive quarter of Y-o-Y shipment decline. The company was bolstered by the launch of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and as such remains competitive even as it continues using a mobile OS while the competition moves towards Windows-based devices.

Samsung comes 2nd, even if it sees shipments drop by -1.1% Y-o-Y. The Korean giant continues to migrate towards detachables, and while it left the PC business in 2014 it currently offers a handful of Windows 10 devices, an unsurprising move in an industry keen to take advantage of the opportunity. In 3rd place is Huawei, the only vendor in the top 5 with positive Q1 2017 results (31.7% Y-o-Y shipment growth) as it offers a mix of Android- and Windows-based devices.

Amazon fluctuates in and out of the top rankings with the low-cost Kindle Fire portfolio, and Q1 2017 sees it come 4th as it ships 2.2m devices at a "very aggressive" price point. Lenovo is 5th with shipments reaching 2.1m and market share of 5.7%.

Go IDC WW Quarterly Tablet Tracker