Worldwide tablet shipments recorded a year-over-year decline for the second consecutive quarter in the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15).
Overall shipments for tablets and 2-in-1 devices fell to 47.1 million in 1Q15, a -5.9% decline from the same quarter a year ago, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.
“The market slowdown that we witnessed last quarter is continuing to impact the tablet segment, but we see some growth areas that are starting to materialise," says Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets, IDC.
“Cellular-enabled tablets are outgrowing the rest of the market, providing an additional revenue stream for OEMs and mobile operators.
“In addition to driving higher usage than Wi-Fi-only tablets, cellular-enabled tablets also help position the segment as true mobile solutions rather than stay-at-home devices.”
Apple still leads the overall market despite five consecutive quarters of negative annual shipment growth.
Apple shipped 12.6 million iPads in the first quarter, capturing 26.8% of the market in volume and declining -22.9% when compared to 1Q14.
Samsung (19.1% share) maintained its second place in the market despite a -16.5% decline in shipments compared to the same period last year.
Lenovo (5.3% share), Asus (3.8 %) and LG (3.1%) rounded out the top 5 positions.
Meanwhile, LG's year-over-year growth was notable as it continues to benefit from US carriers' strategy to bundle connected tablets with existing customers.
“Although the tablet market is in decline, 2-in-1's are certainly a bright spot," adds Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.
“While 2-in-1, or detachables, still account for a small portion of the overall market, growth in this space has been stunning as vendors like Asus, Acer, and E-FUN have been able to offer products at a fantastic value; and vendors like Microsoft have been able to drive growth at the high end with devices like the Surface Pro 3.”
As a result of the recent market contraction, IDC believes tablet OEM's should continue to focus on potential growth areas like the aforementioned cellular-enabled tablets and 2-in-1 devices.
The commercial segment remains an area to watch for both tablets and 2-in-1's. However, as of now, commercial uptake has been relatively slow as IT buyers continue to evaluate their mobile strategies.
Tablet Vendor Highlights
Apple's iPads continue to suffer from the success of the new iPhone and to a lesser extent of the Mac product line.
IDC expects Apple to record negative growth until the iPad portfolio is significantly refreshed, either with the expected increase in screen sizes or by introducing a dedicated version of iOS for its tablet lineup.