The market is far from collapsing, but the trend seems irreversible: fewer and fewer tablets are being sold. In the past quarter, five million fewer were sold than in the previous year, when 38 million went over the counter. This is evident from research by IDC .
More disappointers than risers
The only two companies that sold more than last year were Apple (almost one percent more) and Huawei which sold nearly ten percent more but where a total of only 3.4 million tablets sold compared to Apple’s 11.5 million in the last three months. Samsung is in the absolute ranking still second with five million sold tablets, but there were one million less than last year.
Other manufacturers showed about the same pattern as Samsung: less, less, less. Lenovo, Amazon and all other tablet makers (who sold so little that they are not even mentioned by name) have all sold considerably less than last year, with Amazon falling the fastest with a third fewer sales in 2018.
Detachables to the rescue?
The figures are not surprising, but strangely enough, the same IDC predicted that this year there would be a kind of revival in the tablet market through the so-called ‘detachables’, devices like the upcoming Microsoft Surface Go could be a turnaround for the market, because they combine the convenience of a tablet with the power of a laptop. However, these devices do not seem that popular until now because they are still relatively expensive and people do not easily give up their laptop and tablet for an all-in-one device.
Apple has still not given any indication that they are working on it, and that is often an indicator that a market will start growing (however you look at it). As long as that does not happen, the tablet market will continue to shrink and certainly if Apple is one of the few not in the backward state that development does not come in 2018. So long the cheaper alternatives such as the Surface Go do not take a broad turn you can expect that we will hear a similar story next year as now.