A tablet turnaround ahead? Shipment declines slow

Global tablet shipments continued to slide in the second quarter of 2016, but researcher Strategy Analytics says there may be light at the end of the tunnel as the pace of the decline slowed from 10% to 8% and average selling prices increased 9% as buyers turned to more powerful units.

Shipments in Q2 2016 were 46.7 million units, up slightly from 46.5 million units in Q1 2016, but down from 50.8 million units a year ago.

But, said Eric Smith, an analyst at SA and author of the report, consumers and enterprises alike are buying more Pro Slates (e.g., iPad Pro, Surface Pro 4) than ever before as prices reach tolerable levels and as computing behaviors and needs shift toward more mobility and touchscreen interfaces. Viewing of online video continues to be a factor in less-expensive sales to general consumers. 

Among other highlights, SA also found:

  • Apple iOS shipments were at 10 million iPads in Q2, giving it a market share of 21% of the tablet market. Still, shipments were down 9% Y/Y and 3% Q/Q. But, the first full quarter of iPad Pro 9.7 sales helped drive ASPs to $490 and contributed to the best quarter Apple has had in 2 years.
  • Android branded vendors shipped 30.1 million units among them worldwide in the quarter, down 15% from 35.2 million a year earlier and flat sequentially. Market share has fallen to 64% as Windows tablet shipments improved.
  • Windows shipments grew 43% Y/Y at 6.7 million units in the quarter, from 4.6 million a year ago, giving it 14% of the market. Windows share continues to improve as more models are launched by traditional PC vendors and mobile-first vendors alike.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn