The death spiral of the “game changing” tablet is continuing and soon there will be very few people wanting to buy one anywhere and resellers would be more likely to successfully flog used bog-roll tubes.
According to IDC, the tablet market continued its “downward spiral” in Q2 this year with worldwide shipments falling 3.4 percent.
The year-on-year decline was caused by tight consumer spending, IDC said. There was even a decline in shipments of detachables in Q2, as consumers wait for flagship launches from Apple and Microsoft.
Detachables had previously been a shining light for the tablet market, which has now been in a state of decline for 11 consecutive quarters.
IDC research director Linn Huang said that the tablet market has essentially become a race to see if the burgeoning detachables category can grow fast enough to offset the long-term erosion of the slate market.
However he has not given up hope yet as new product launches from Microsoft and Apple are generally accompanied by subsequent quarters of inflated shipments.
“The reintroduction of Windows to the ARM platform could help remedy the aforementioned hollowing of the middle of the market, and we expect a proliferation of Chrome OS-based detachables in time for the holidays.”
Despite the market decline, three of the top five tablet vendors saw their quarterly shipments increase year on year.
First-placed Apple, third-placed Huawei and fourth-placed Amazon all saw growth, while second-placed Samsung saw flat growth and Lenovo saw a decline.
Beancounters at IDC seem to think that the channel could make big money flogging tablets to corporates.
While tablet sales in the consumer market are deader than Steve Jobs, corporates can find a use for the bigger models.
IDC predicted that because of the mobility attractions of the hardware tablets will be a key investment for firms undergoing digital transformation next year.
Premium devices drove tablet growth in the third quarter, with IDC recording a 13.1 percent increase year-on-year in the commercial sector. Overall there were 8.2 million tablets shipped in Western Europe in Q3, which represented a 6.7 percent decline on the same period last year.
Although volumes are dropping the unit value has held firm, which has offset the impact of the declines, as more customers pay for higher quality products. The share of detachables in Western Europe priced above €600 increased from 26.5 percent in 3Q15 to 52.2 percent a year later.
Daniel Goncalves, research analyst, IDC Western European personal computing, said that detachables are proving to be particularly attractive to firms, particularly those with the performance and security to meet enterprise standards, are continuously gaining traction and this is boosting demand for premium devices.
“Surface Pro and iPad Pro success comes from them being a notebook replacement, as well as the quality of the devices. The devices are increasingly adopted across consumer and commercial segments, and while in the consumer segment both appeal to the ‘prosumer’ user, in commercial the adoption varies depending on the activities of the end user. iPad Pro is more popular for creative types of jobs, whereas Surface is more likely to be adopted by top executives, partly due to Windows’ strong legacy in enterprise.”
Apple, Samsung and Lenovo dominate the market but Amazon has seen its unit growth increase year on year by 166.5 per cent thanks to the very competitive pricing of its Kindle tablet range.
Beancounters at IDC claim that a flood of cheap tablets are killing off an already dying technology branch.
In a new report, IDC said that 43 million tablets shipped in Q3 2016 but that figure was actually the bad news. The overall market declined 14.3 percent year-on-year, because of poor sales at the top end of the market. Basically consumers switching to cheap tablets with lower margins.
While there is a .8 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in shipments as vendors get ready for the holiday quarter. the market’s pants.
Amazon with its Fire tablets were the only tablets to see significant growth. These were up 320 percent year-on-year but still only taking 7.3 percent of the market. Huawei sales increased 28.4 percent to 5.6 percent of the market.
Apple’s shipments fell 6.2 percent and Lenovo was down 10.8 percent. Samsung fell 19.3 percent.
||3Q16 Unit Shipments
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IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said that they -$200 tablets were spoiling the market for everyone.
He said that the “The race to the bottom is something we have already experienced with slates and it may prove detrimental to the market in the long run as detachables could easily be seen as disposable devices rather than potential PC replacements”
Dell has stopped selling Android devices as it moves to Windows 2-in-1 devices.
It has said that it is giving up on its Venue line of Android tablets, and will no longer offer the Android-based Wyse Cloud Connect, a thumb-size computer that can turn a display into a PC.
Dell has long said that the slate tablet market is over-saturated and declining. They appear to be being replaced by 2-in-1s which provide a more spiritual blend of PC capabilities with tablet mobility.
Dell won’t be offering OS upgrades to Android-based Venue tablets already being used by customers.
Customers who own Android-based Venue products, Dell will continue to support currently active warranty and service contracts until they expire, but will not be pushing out future OS upgrades.
Dell now mostly has laptops and 2-in-1s with Windows on its books with a smattering of Chromebooks, which run Chrome OS. These can run Android apps through access to the Google Play Store but not Android.
If you don’t want Windows, Dell also sells XPS and Precision laptops with Ubuntu to developers, and thin clients with Linux, Windows Embedded and Wyse’s ThinOS operating systems.
Venue is a brand often placed on the chopping block by Dell. It killed off Venue smartphones in 2012, but reintroduced the brand through the tablets. You can find Venue tablets with Windows but the product has not been upgraded in a while.
HP is also doing something similar. It now offers just a handful of Android tablets, mainly for businesses. Lenovo is offering fewer Android tablets and has expanded its Windows-based, 2-in-1 lineup. So much for Steve Job’s “game changing” technology which was going to change the world.
Manufacturers of notebooks and tablets are looking to new markets to bolster their businesses because Europe can no longer be relied upon for healthy sales.
Last week we reported PC demand, particularly in Eastern Europe, was well done.
Now, Taiwanese wire Digitimes said that the manufacturers are looking to other market such as South East Asia and and Central and South America to make up the shortfall.
It’s not just lack of demand that is the problem because the margins the mostly Taiwanese companies are also taing a hit because of the parlous state of the Euro.
The notebook manufacturers can’t see light at the end of the tunnel in Europe until at least the end of the second quarter, the report adds.
The research wing of Digitimes believes that 221.4 million tablets will be shipped this year, and that’s a fal of 11.9 percent compared to 2014.
The consensus is that the PC might not be dead but it is certainly struggling.
And in the third report of its kind we’ve published today, IDC said that until 2010 PCs had the lion’s share of the total smart connected devices market, accounting for around 52.5 percent of shipments with 44.7 percent for smartphones and only 2.8 percent for tablets.
But, said IDC, in 2014 smartphones represented 73.4 percent of total shipments, PCs slipped to 16. percent and tablets 12.5 percent.
That trend is continuing – by 2019 PCs will only represent 11.6 percent of that market, while tablets will have 10.7 percent.
This must all be deeply troubling for chip giant Intel, with revenues still depending on the good old X86 chip and seemingly unable to make inroads into the tablet and smartphone markets.
Here’s an IDC chart demonstrating the trend between 2014 and 2019.
There’s more bad news for the PC market as it appears that Google Chromebooks are taking market share in the low end and the education markets.
ABI Research said Chromebooks, which rely heavily on the cloud, start up much faster than Windows PCsand are pretty affordable too, have “gained traction” in the North American market.
And it’s not just home users who are buying them – organisations are buying them too, with shipments close to five million last year.
Analyst Stephanie Van Vactor said that cloud services and the collapse of economies worldwide were the impetus for designers and developers to create cheap and cheerful devices, like the Chromebook.
“Chromebooks were the result, and the ‘anytime anywhere” access to content is a mobile-centric game changer,” she said.
The education market in particular has a yen for Chromebooks, mostly because of Google Apps for Education, she said. The business and the education sector together accounted for 62 percent of Chromebook shipments.
Another factor is the price. The average selling price for a Chromebook is $226 in the States, while it’s $420 for a tablet – presumably an Apple iPad.
“Google has taken to heart the popularity of mobile devices and developed a personal computing device that is a functional solution,” said Van Vactor. She said: “This style of computing works for the on the go lifestyle people are becoming accustomed to and will continue to impact the future of computing as the market shifts and changes.”
The outlook for PCs looks pretty grim in 2015, according to data released by Gartner.
The market research outfit said that PCs and ultra mobiles will deliver revenues of $226 billion this year, but that will be a 7.2 percent decline.
You have to take the current strength of the US dollar into account, Gartner warned, but even after that, the global market will show a 3.1 percent drop during the year.
Gartner forecasts that so called traditional PCs – that includes desktops and notebooks – will fall from 252,881,000 units this year, to 236,341,000 units in 2017.
The firm said that PC vendors are raising their prices to stay profitable but this is having a Catch 22 effect because it’s forcing customers to keep their purses tightly closed. Home users are also not expected to lash out on new devices.
Mobile phones will grow by 3.5 percent during this year and Gartner believes that rather than buy PCs, people will buy smartphones instead. Tablet sales will suffer because of that.
Roberta Cozza, a research director at Gartner, said: “Following rapid growth, the current mature consumer installed base for tablets is comparable to that of notebooks. Not only is the tablet segment nearing saturation in mature markets, but the influx of hybrids and fabulist will compete directly with tablets in emerging markets.”
She seems to think that despite Apple’s high prices, many users of high end Android devices will move to iOS.
The next five years for shipments of tablets will see them grow only in the low single digits, according to market research company IDC.
IDC said it expects worldwide shipments of tablets to amount to 234.5 million units this year, that’s only 2.1 percent up from shipments last year.
It anticipates, however, that the commercial market for tablets will grow, and Microsoft will gain some market share in the sector.
IDC said that the Android operating system will remain the leader in the market while Apple’s iOS will show declines this year. Microsoft, which had 5.1 percent share in 2014, is expected to grow to 14.1 percent in 2019.
IDC thinks the introduction of Windows 10 this year will have a “significant impact” because people want consistency across different devices.
Predicted market share in 2019 will be 62.9 percent for Android based tablets, 23 percent for iOS based tablets, and 14.1 percent for Windows based tablets.
A report said that adoption of tales by commercial enterprises are set to boost sales in Western Europe.
IDC said the commercial market for tablets will reach over 11 million units by 2019 – that’s 130% CAGR.
The tablet market so far has largely been driven by home users, and by early adopters in corporations. Newer designs are lighter, better connected and have options including keyboards.
IDC said that devices are now shipping with features that IT departments like, particularly in security, and both Samsung and Apple have started to target the corporate market.
According to Chrystelle Labesque, a research manager at IDC, over two thirds of the enterprises IDC surveyed in Western Europe have already deployed tablets.
The main reason for their adoption in enterprises include price erosion, more features and increasing employee productivity.
The news couldn’t come any sooner for vendors selling tablets for personal use. All indications are that there is a degree of saturation in this sector.
Announcements from the Mobile World Congress (MWC) are as thick as blankets of snow this week, and Lenovo has joined in the chase for more business by announcing a range of three tablets.
Lenovo, according to market watchers, has been doing comparatively well in the tablet market.
Today it announced the A Series Android tablets, the Tab 2 A7 and A10-70 and a Windows tablet too.
The A10-70 has a 10.1-inch FHD screen, and Dolby Atmos. The machine runs Android 4.4, uses a MediaTek quad core processor, weighs 500 grams and is 8.9 millimetres thick. It will cost £180 and ships in April.
The Tab 2 A8 weighs in at 360 grams and comes with a dual SIM card slot, and costs £130 for the wi-fi model. It will ship in June.
The Windows Ideated MIIX 300, uses Windows 8.1, has an Intel Atom chip inside, and a media card reader. It will ship in July and will cost around £150.
Only 221.4 million tablets will ship worldwide this year – a drop of 11.9 percent compared to 2014.
That’s according to Digitimes Research (DR), which predicts that Apple will continue to take the lead, managing to ship over 54 million units this year. While this sounds healthy, that’s a predicted decline of 16/6 percent.
The so-called “white box” market will see the biggest decline, with a drop of 20 percent. Margins on these products are super slim.
DR gives estimates for the different vendors’ shares of the market – with Apple accounting for 24.5 percent, Samsung 16.3 percent, Lenovo 5.3 percent, Asustek 4.2 percent, Google 1.7 percent, Acer 1.7 percent, and Amazon only 1.6 percent.
Meanwhile, a report in Chinese language Economic Daily News said that Amazon has cut orders of tablets, sourced by Compal and Quanta by as much as 30 percent.
Compaq has the lion’s share of Amazon tablet business, churning out 80 percent of them compared to Quanta’s 20 percent, the Economic Daily News said.
Apple is likely to hit a pothole for sales of its iPad this year with one report estimating shipments will slump by 40 percent in this calendar quarter.
But it won’t just be Apple that will be hit by the slump, according to a report in Taiwanese wire Digitimes.
All manufacturers are likely to see a fall as shipments of large screen smartphones – so called phablets – start to erode the tablet market.
Digitimes quotes its own intelligence unit saying that shipments of tablets worldwide will be 244 million this year, a drop on last year of something like 11.8 percent.
The tablet market also faces competition from low end notebooks which are to some extent being subsidised by Microsoft and other vendors.
Tablets are not generally seen by people as products that need upgrading. Apple will have to rethink its strategy on the sector as it prepares to launch more iPad models this year.
Microsoft has spent $200 million on an Israeli firm that makes digital pens and semiconductors for touch screens.
According to financial news website Calcalist, the 190 people who work for N-trig will work for Microsoft’s Israeli division.
N-trig makes pens for use in smartphones, for tablets and for slim notebooks.
Microsoft already owned a 6.1 percent chunk in N-Trig to incorporate its pen in the Surface Pro 3 tablets it makes.
Reuters said N-trig revenues in the first half of 2014 amounted to $20.6 million. Its customers include Sony, HP, and Lenovo.
Microsoft is keen to re-position itself in the next wave of the IT market.
Comms company EE said today it will spend £1.5 billion over the next three years to expand its 4G network in the UK.
EE said that 4G will overtake 2G by 2017, with 99 percent of the British population able to access 4G networks.
And, by 2017, 4G+ will be available in 20 British cities.
It said that it will spend to create data and voice connections in 1,500 places that don’t have either reliable mobile or high speed broadband.
Its “double speed” broadband will be available for 90 percent of the UK population, with data speeds of up to 60Mbps available for both smartphones and tablets.
And in the future it claimed it will be a leader in 5G, because the foundation for even faster speeds will rely on 4G infrastructure being available.
Its 4G+ network will allow speeds of 150Mbps, EE said.
Today it released its “Signalling the Future” manifesto intended to guide the next government of whatever hue to set digital priorities.