Tablet Sales Are on the Decline, but Apple and Samsung Are Leaving Amazon in the Dust

From Fortune:

Apple and Samsung are the leading companies in the shrinking tablet market.

That’s according to the International Data Corporation’s report published Thursday on worldwide tablet shipments for the second quarter of 2018.

The research firm said that overall shipments plunged 13.5% year-over-year in the second quarter to 33 million, underscoring the tough tablet market that has been steadily declining for some years.

One possible reason for the drop in tablet shipments might have to do with people and businesses appearing to be buying personal computers instead of the tablets, according to IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani.

Ubrani noted in the IDC report that while businesses seemed interested in so-called detachable tablets that function with removable keyboards, “those operating on tighter budgets have had very few options available to them and hence some have opted for traditional PCs.”

. . . .

Apple was the leading tablet company in the second quarter of 2018 having shipped 11.5 million devices, which was relatively flat year-over-year. Apple now commands about 35% of the overall market, the data showed.

. . . .

Samsung was the second biggest tablet company, and shipped 5 million devices in the second quarter, which was a 16% year-over-year drop.

. . . .

Amazon had the biggest drop in tablet shipments, with the online retailer shipping 1.6 million devices in the second quarter, which marked a whopping 33.5% drop from the same quarter a year ago.

. . . .

IDC attributed Amazon’s big drop in tablet shipments to a “saturated market,” presumably due to Amazon’s cheap Fire tablets, which the company has heavily discounted over the years, particularly around events like Black Friday.

A previous IDC report said that one reason Amazon is content to sell cheap Fire tablets is because “the company remains highly focused on acquiring additional Prime subscribers regardless of the type of device used.”

Link to the rest at Fortune

PG’s unscientific personal observation is that many people seem to keep their tablets and ereaders for a longer time than they keep other electronic devices (smartphones, for example).

If true, he suspects part of the reason is that the features/performance of new tablets are not improved enough to provide a significant benefit with respect to the way the older tablets are used.

But he could be wrong.

9 thoughts on “Tablet Sales Are on the Decline, but Apple and Samsung Are Leaving Amazon in the Dust”

  1. Sure.
    Now, let’s see the numbers for the fourth quarter.
    Fire Tablets are seasonal. The holiday season sees a monstrous spike followed by two quarters of modest sales.
    And this last holiday season the sales were good enough to convince many of us to move projected purchases forward.

    “…lies, damned lies, and (misused) statistics…”

    If I remembered correctly IDG was the same outfit that a couple of years decided that 6″ tablets weren’t tablets so tbey wouldn’t have to count Amazon HD6 shipments in Amazon’s market share.

    • FWIW, the Amazon HD6 was a nice tablet. We have two of them in the house. They can be upgraded to the latest Fire OS and the Google Play store can be installed on them. The resolution and processing is generally adequate. At first blush they seem a bit thick, but that means they are more durable, especially when handed over to an 8 year old. The letterbox design coupled with the 6 inch size means that you can wrap your hand around it in portrait mode, so if you don’t mind reading on a tablet then it is that much easier to hold than a 7 inch tablet. W00T had them for as little as $15 last year, but that source has dried up.

      tldr; if you happen across one of these for a nice price, or are offered one, take it.

      • One of these market counting firms doesn’t count anything below 7″ as a tablet. A lot of those Kindles are smaller than 7″ such as your HD6.

        I think Nate at the “The Digital Reader” has mentioned this one before.

        • They claimed it was because six inches is a Phablet size, never mind that the HD6 has no phone component.

          It is an arbitrary decision that screams “ulterior motive” because the HD 6 was the too seller for the XMAS quarter.

  2. I still use a Kindle Touch that I have to sideload every book on. My wife has a Kindle Fire, but rarely uses it.

    Of course, I still use for my publishing business art programs like Fireworks 3 (mid-90s) and Word 2007, so I’m probably an outlier.

    • Not an outlier at all.

      I’m still running XP and office 2003 on some machines.

      Part of it is that some programs I use can’t be updated for various reasons or I don’t use the cloud for security reasons.

      Or, the stuff works. Why fix it if it ain’t broke.

      There are lots of folks like us.

  3. I still have one of the very early kindles, it does what I want – why would I need another? Unlike some sheeple that need the latest shiny. (not entirely the sheeple’s fault when ‘updates’ are used to make their older devices act like they’re sub-pare …)

    And the copy of office 2000 I got with 98 still loads and runs fine under windows 7.

    When ‘Fortune’ doesn’t know the difference between a ‘shrinking market’ and a ‘saturated market’, it’s time for them to toss in the towel, they’re hopeless/clueless/worthless …

    • Sheeple is a useful word, I find.

      Whenever I see it used, I can be pretty certain I am dealing with someone who considers other people’s motivations not only incomprehensible, but not worth comprehending. It is the go-to insult of the misanthrope.

      • Oh, and a link to how sheeple were trained from a couple days ago. You might find it interesting as the last hour shows a bit of our political system in operation.

        allynh August 1, 2018 at 2:12 pm
        I think that I’ve posted this before. This is about four hours long, so take your time. Bookmark the video and watch it often.

        The Century of the Self (Full Documentary)

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