THE TABLET MARKET has plummeted for the 13th quarter in a row, with sales taking a 7.9 per cent dive in the fourth quarter of 2017.
So say the beancounters at IDC, which claim that 49.6 million 'old-fashioned, slate tablets' were shipped during the holiday period. Sales reached 141.7 million for the whole of 2017, a steep fall from the 174.8 million flogged in 2016.
While last-year IDC blamed "cheap" slabs for the ongoing tablet sales slump, the analyst outfit said this week that tablets have been "largely relegated to simple media consumption devices" as they don't offer much in the way of productivity.
It was better news for detachable form-factors in Q4, though, as sales of Surface-esque devices grew 10.3 per cent to 6.5 million during the three-month period.
However, even this growing market is showing signs of waning interest, according to IDC, which notes that the detachables market grew just 1.6 per cent over year in 2017, down from the 24 per cent in 2016.
IDC's manufacturer breakdown, which counts both slate form factors and detachables, shows that Apple maintained the number one spot for the fourth quarter. Cupertino shifted 13.2 million iPads, bagging it 26.6 per cent of the entire market, up 2.3 per cent year-over-year.
Amazon has overtaken Samsung to take the number two spot for the first time. The firm flogged 7.7 million of its own-brand tablets over the holidays, which has seen its share of the market increase from 9.6 per cent to 15.6 per cent in Q4.
Samsung, on the other hand, lost 13 per cent market share during the quarter, with seven million tablets sold. Huawei and Lenovo fill the fourth and fifth spots, with 3.5 and 3.1 million tablets sold, respectively.
Microsoft, who last week revealed that Surface sales remained stagnant in the second quarter despite three new releases, failed to make IDC's top five list.
Combined, the top five vendors accounted for 69.6 per cent of the market, up from 61.3 per cent last year. µ
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