Q2 Tablet Shipments Fall, But Prices Rise As Pro Slates Gain Share
Tablet shipments fell year-on-year in the 2016 second quarter, while average selling prices headed the other way, as pro slates enjoy increasing popularity, according to a new Strategy Analytics report.
Strategy figures show tablet shipments fell 8 per cent year-on-year to 46.7 million units while average selling prices climbed 9 per cent.
Strategy states that pro slates, such as the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4, are being purchased by both consumers and enterprises more “than ever before as prices reach tolerable levels and as computing behaviours and needs shift toward more mobility and touchscreen interfaces”.
“iPad has marked 10 quarters of annual shipment declines, but some light is now visible at the end of the tunnel,” Peter King, Strategy service director, tablet & touchscreen strategies service, commented.
“In the same way that Windows tablets gained market share with a wide range of premium-to-low-tier 2-in-1 tablets, Apple is riding consumer and enterprise demand for 2-in-1s with multiple price tiers of buy-in to its vision of what a converged computing device can achieve.
“Meanwhile, Android has not been able to break out of its cost-conscious, entertainment-focused roots, and until true multi-tasking is available across the installed base, this perception will remain reality. Still, low-cost traditional slate tablets devoted to entertainment do hold value for consumers, reflected in Android’s 64 per cent share.”
Eric Smith, Strategy senior analyst, tablet & touchscreen strategies service, observed that pressure is being placed on the industry by mobile-first vendors “to release more reasonably priced, yet still powerful, 2-in-1 tablets”.
“Apple, Huawei and Samsung are just the latest companies to join the segment at a time when consumers and enterprises are more receptive to the functionality and affordability of these converged computing devices,” Smith stated.
“In return, higher average selling prices of 2-in-1 tablets, compared to traditional slates, have returned more profit back to tablet vendors across the spectrum as people around the world begin making the choice between upgrading their PCs, tablets, or just going with one converged 2-in-1 device for the home and business.”
Strategy found that Apple (iOS) shipped 10 million iPads in the quarter, down 9 per cent year-on-year and 3 per cent sequentially, capturing a 21 per cent share of the market. The first full quarter of iPad Pro 9.7 sales helped drive average selling prices to US$490, contributing to Apple’s best quarter in two years.
Android vendors shipped 30.1 million units, down 15 per cent year-on-year and flat sequentially, with market share falling to 64 per cent, impacted by the high growth of Windows tablet shipments.
Strategy notes “a reordering underway among Android vendors in the middle tier, so even though shipments by large vendors like Samsung have fallen, smaller vendors like Huawei, Amazon and TCL Alcatel continue to expand their reach”.
Windows shipments, meanwhile, grew 43 per cent year-on-year and 5 per cent sequentially to 6.7 million units, claiming a 14 per cent market share, with more models being launched by traditional PC vendors and mobile-first vendors, while Microsoft expands its Surface distribution and line-up, and white box vendors sell more Windows tablets.