The latest report from the global market research firm TrendForce, finds that worldwide tablet shipments for this second quarter totaled 33.54 million units, representing a quarterly drop of 4.8% and a year-on-year decline of 8.8%.
“Tablet shipments continued to fall in the second quarter because there were few product launches that could boost sales and promotional activities were slacking in general,” said TrendForce notebook analyst Anita Wang. “Many established brands including Apple and Samsung have scaled back the resources for their tablet lines as demand remains weak. Furthermore, margins of tablets are being squeezed because the market demand has shifted to products with bargain prices. Looking ahead, TrendForce anticipates that the tablet market may encounter its first-ever quarterly decline for third-quarter shipments.
Amazon’s low-priced tablets remained hot while the iPad Pro series was ineffective in boosting Apple’s iPad shipments
Apple retained its top position in the quarterly ranking with 9.95 million units shipped. This figure translates to a 2.9% dip from the first quarter and a 9% drop from a year ago. “The lack of changes in appearance and high prices work against the iPad Pro series. Consumers do not see these devices as a good bargain. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro maintained strong sales momentum for two quarters, while the 9.7-inch model lost its luster after just one quarter since its release. On the whole, the Pro series did not help expand iPad shipments in the second quarter as expected. The overall sales were instead sustained by iPad Air 2, which captured consumers’ interest with its reduced price tag.”
Samsung’s tablet shipments in the second quarter totaled 6 million units, amounting to a 7.3% fall from the previous quarter and a steep 23.9% decline from a year ago. Samsung does not have many new tablets for release this year. While the South Korean brand has offered models with AMOLED screens, these products were too expensive and did not have other unique design features that can help them further differentiate themselves. TrendForce expects Samsung’s quarterly tablet shipments to be on a steady slide this year.
Despite market headwinds, Lenovo increased its tablet shipments by 9.1% compared with the first quarter to 2.4 million units. This result also allowed the Chinese brand to overtake Amazon and took the third spot in the ranking. “Whereas tablet leaders Apple and Samsung have scaled back resources to develop products and markets, Lenovo continues to expand its tablet business,” said Wang. “Through promotional activities, Lenovo raised its shipments in Europe and North America during the second quarter.”
Amazon’s tablet shipments in the second quarter remained constant with the previous quarter, arriving at 2.2 million units. Even though Lenovo pushed Amazon down a spot in the shipment ranking, Amazon still saw a soaring year-on-year growth that reached 357%. With low-priced products, Amazon was able to expand its shipments during the first half of this year and maintained high year-on-year growth rates for the quarterly results. TrendForce’s latest analysis indicates that Amazon’s tablet shipments for 2016 may hit 10 million units, depending on the holiday sales performance in the fourth quarter.
Huawei also grew its tablet shipments against market headwinds by 10% over the prior quarter to 2.2 million units, on par with Amazon in the ranking. Huawei’s exceptional performance in the second quarter was based on the strategy of releasing a variety of models in great quantities. The Chinese brand has succeeded in expanding into the emerging markets and carved out a presence in Japan as well.