IDC May 1

Research firm IDC is out today with new data on the state of the tablet and 2-in-1 market in the first quarter of 2014. As you might expect after Apple’s most recent earnings report, Q1 unit shipments of iPad were down by 3 million from 19.5 million to 16.4 million between 2013 and 2014. For its part, Apple attributes its Q1 2013 iPad sales as inflated due to demand for iPad mini in Q4 2012 being fulfilled in the following quarter when supply was less constrained.

That may be, but the iPad also saw a drop in tablet market share between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. According to IDC’s data, Apple dropped from 40.2% market share in Q1 2013 to 32.5% market share in Q1 2014 while Samsung saw unit shipments increase as well as marketshare. Despite Samsung’s gains, though, Apple still dominates the tablet market more than any other one company leading Samsung by 10 percentage points in market share.

“The rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever longer periods of time were both contributing factors to a weaker-than-anticipated quarter for tablets and 2-in-1s,” said Tom Mainelli, IDC Program Vice President, Devices and Displays. “In addition, commercial growth has not been robust enough to offset the slowing of consumer shipments.”

While Apple is indeed leading in market share with nearly a third of tablets (and 2-1 devices being included) sold being an iPad, the data does trend toward growth slowing down and not picking up as 2013 saw fewer tablets sold than 2012 per Gartner and this year already continuing that direction. However, increased unit shipments from Samsung, Lenovo, and others do show a slight increase in tablets sold in the first quarter of each year.

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7 Responses to “Apple’s iPad maintains a narrowing lead, still almost a third of all tablets sold”

  1. Harvey Lubin says:

    If the iPad makes up only 32.5% of the tablet market (with Samsung having 22.3%), there seems to be a credibility gap here.

    Chitka reported this past week that the iPad has a huge usage share accounting for 77.2% of tablet Web traffic (and Samsung tablets only at 8.3%)!

    So this means that either there really are that many Android and Windows tablets being sold, but buyers are taking them home and hiding them away in a drawer, OR that the other tablet manufacturers are greatly exaggerating the numbers of tablets “sold” by over-shipping their products which will mostly be returned to those companies when they don’t sell at retail.


  2. Nick Senn says:

    I think we could say that mobile phones are splitting in two groups:
    -phones (primary function – talking)
    -personal (ultra-portable) multimedia devices – large screen “phones”

    In short those multimedia “phones” are great because they’re small enough not to represent a burden when carrying in a bag, jacket pocket and so on, jet they offer full web “in-touch”!! (future might bring glasses with a retina projector and a connected device in a pocket)
    Old small tablets are becoming a niche; I would not look at them twice anymore (not that portable since cumbersome and not productive).

    Tablets need to evolve into bigger and more powerful devices; 13″ till 16″. Practically a light, portable interactive screen I can take with me from the living room to my home office or even bedroom,… Maybe I’ll take it to work, or a work trip.

    I hope Apple will bring out the iPad-Pro 13″, otherwise I’ll order the big Samsung tablet.


  3. Yet another article that conflates “shipments” with “sales.” Pity.


  4. I think that the Year to Year Growth says it all… Apple is losing to Samsung, plain and simple.


    • kpom1 says:

      Or that Samsung is doing aggressive price cutting to gain market share. Samsung’s profits disappointed last quarter. Tablets aren’t quite the two-horse race that phones are, but Samsung is trying to make it so. Most of their YoY growth could be at the expense of other Android OEMs, who might otherwise have seen sales increase.