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Worldwide tablet shipments decline more than 12% in Q2

IDC says that the market is shifting its focus towards productivity - and figures suggest tablets just aren't that productive

Worldwide tablet shipments shrank by 12.3% in the second quarter, according to IDC’s latest figures.

Shipments of tablets, including slates and detachables, reached 38.7m units in Q2, suggesting the market continued to recede at an aggressive pace.

The majority of tablets shipped were Android-based systems (65%) followed by iOS (26%), and then Windows (9%). IDC said that the figures suggested Android may be in the early stages of losing some its hefty market share to Windows devices.

On a vendor-by-vendor basis, Apple maintained a healthy lead, with a 25.8% share of the market. Samsung came second with 15.6% slice of the pie, with the remaining 58% scattered here, there and everywhere.

Perhaps most notable was Amazon, which managed to increase its market share from just 0.3% in 2Q15 to 4% this year – representing 1208% year-over-year growth. Lenovo and Huawei also managed to buck the trend and grow their market share.

"The market has spoken as consumers and enterprises seek more productive form factors and operating systems – it's the reason we're seeing continued growth in detachables," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "At present, it's difficult for Android to compete with iOS or Windows detachable products. However, the next 12 to 18 months will be very interesting as Google launches the next version of Android with better multi-tasking support and as they begin to bring together their two operating systems."

The data suggested that there has been a surge on demand for detachables, however, slates still dominated with a 75% share of the market.  

“While growth in the detachable category is undeniable, slates continue to represent the vast majority of the segment,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director, Tablets at IDC. "Vendors like Amazon, with a very focused approach to positioning, price, and purpose, managed to capture a considerable share of the market. Slate sales are declining but they still serve a purpose and will do so for a long time to come."


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