Apple's iPad remains dominant in shrinking tablet market

Posted:
in iPad edited May 2015
More than one out of every four tablets sold in the first quarter of 2015 bore an Apple logo, new data indicates, though the worldwide market for tablets and convertible devices continues to contract.




The iPad lineup took 27 percent of the tablet market from January to March, according to market research firm IDC. Samsung came in second with 19 percent, while no other single supplier exceeded 5 percent.

Overall, the market was down 6 percent year-over-year, the second consecutive quarter in which sales fell. Of those tablets that were sold, cellular models were found to be the most popular, outpacing the market.

"Cellular-enabled tablets are outgrowing the rest of the market, providing an additional revenue stream for OEMs and mobile operators," IDC tablet research director Jean Philippe Bouchard said in a release. "In addition to driving higher usage than Wi-Fi-only tablets, cellular-enabled tablets also help position the segment as true mobile solutions rather than stay-at-home devices."

Convertible devices, like Microsoft's Surface line, also had a strong showing.

IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani noted that "while 2-in-1, or detachables, still account for a small portion of the overall market, growth in this space has been stunning as vendors like Asus, Acer, and E-FUN have been able to offer products at a fantastic value; and vendors like Microsoft have been able to drive growth at the high end with devices like the Surface Pro 3."

Apple sold just over 12 million iPads in its second fiscal quarter of 2015, its fifth consecutive quarter of declining iPad shipments. Some of that drop is blamed on the success of the new, larger iPhone 6 lineup, while others believe it represents a natural leveling of the market as tablets --?which have longer replacement cycles than smartphones --?reach saturation.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    conrailconrail Posts: 489member

    So they had a strong Christmas season, but now they're not selling as many over the winter?  What did 2013Q4 look like?  

     

    Not sure if the time is quite right for panic here...

  • Reply 2 of 24
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,010member
    Here we go again with the "Other" manufacturers leading the group. It's the same as with smartphones. How many of the "others" are nothing more than a dumb screen with a few options? I'd like to see categories of tablets instead of lumping them all together. Go ahead and put Samsung, Microsoft, and a few others into the same category as Apple's offerings, then actually define what the "other" category actually includes so we can make our own judgment whether they belong in the same category as iPads. Have iPad sales slipped? Yes, but where are the articles about tablet longevity compared to laptops and desktops? Are Samsung and Microsoft tablets kept as long as iPads?
  • Reply 3 of 24
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post





    Of those tablets that were sold, cellular models were found to be the most popular, outpacing the market.

    I seldom use my iPads. I have purchased 3 in all starting with the original. I was using my iPad mini last night to visit AI via a cellular connection. The page had so many ads that it would not even load with 2 bars of AT&T LTE. They really need to allow extensions in mobile Safari so I can block ads. I use Ghostery and Click to Flash, as well as some custom Javascript I wrote to eliminate the crap on AI's web page on my Mac so I never see ads. I literally could not use the AI site on an iPad over cellular.

  • Reply 4 of 24
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,437member
    I think consumers bought these thinking they would use them to read a lot of e-books. But that hasn't really happened. e-book sales are actually way down - I think they've dropped something like 20%.

    People update their phones as soon as their contract permits because it's relatively inexpensive over the life of the contract. But you've got to pay the full freight for an iPad. And even the first models still work well (although they're heavier). So it's not really necessary to update it as often.

    The third factor is that newer Macs are getting so small and light, they're practically as convenient as an iPad and far more efficient to use if one is doing any kind of real work. But I think a future generation of iPads which are lighter than the current and as thin as the new MacBook will be very compelling to a lot of people, although I think Apple also needs to get the price down.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Hi, I'm an analyst.

    Although Apple's in 1st place, they're not in 1st place *enough*. Thus, I am calling for panic regarding Apple's future.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    zoetmb wrote: »
    I think consumers bought these thinking they would use them to read a lot of e-books. But that hasn't really happened. e-book sales are actually way down - I think they've dropped something like 20%.

    People update their phones as soon as their contract permits because it's relatively inexpensive over the life of the contract. But you've got to pay the full freight for an iPad. And even the first models still work well (although they're heavier). So it's not really necessary to update it as often.

    The third factor is that newer Macs are getting so small and light, they're practically as convenient as an iPad and far more efficient to use if one is doing any kind of real work. But I think a future generation of iPads which are lighter than the current and as thin as the new MacBook will be very compelling to a lot of people, although I think Apple also needs to get the price down.

    iPads are too similar to iPhone. That's it.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    jonnejonne Posts: 17member
    Good business wisdom is that it is very profitable to be first to market in new categories and last one standing in shrinking markets....
  • Reply 8 of 24
    Rather than being reflective of unhappiness with iPads, declining tablet (including iPad) sales seems to reflect: (i) huge unmet demand when iPad was first released; (ii) durability of product; and (iii) different pricing models from phones. I suspect we will see wishy-washy sales for a few more years and then a nice steady business for a long time to come thereafter. It's far from a bad thing to build a durable, long-lived product that people are willing to pay a lot of money upfront to acquire.

    For more, see: http://q10a1.blogspot.com/2015/04/tablet-doom-and-gloom.html
  • Reply 9 of 24
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member

    iPad is fine for movies and reading PDFs and eBooks. It seems people, when they have the choice, usually gravitate to their phones for web surfing and so on. And for movies and books and magazines, it's an expensive device. It's surprising that Google and MS have not done more to capture a good part of this market. Unfortunately, the apps are lackluster on the whole. Not all of the hardware is bad. Dell makes good hardware, but the software (OS and apps) come up short (at least for me).

  • Reply 10 of 24
    Because when I look for a tablet, companies like E-FUN are my first choice.

    Sucker born every minute indeed.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    pfisher wrote: »
    iPad is fine for movies and reading PDFs and eBooks. It seems people, when they have the choice, usually gravitate to their phones for web surfing and so on. And for movies and books and magazines, it's an expensive device. It's surprising that Google and MS have not done more to capture a good part of this market. Unfortunately, the apps are lackluster on the whole. Not all of the hardware is bad. Dell makes good hardware, but the software (OS and apps) come up short (at least for me).

    Nope. About 80% of my browsing is done on iPad. Why would I want to limit myself to a 4.7" screen with a inferior tab management system?
  • Reply 12 of 24
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,568member

    iPads started the whole tablet craze, and iPads have been around for some years now.

     

    People aren't going to replace their iPads every year, at least most people wont. An iPad is like an appliance, and it lasts and works good for many years. iPads are being used like crazy by everyone who has them.

     

    The total tablet market might be shrinking, but it's not because tablets are no longer useful, or that people don't use their iPads much. There are obviously other factors at play here.

     

    I also hope that Apple delivers on their iPad Pro soon. 

  • Reply 13 of 24
    joelsaltjoelsalt Posts: 827member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

    iPads started the whole tablet craze, and iPads have been around for some years now.

     

    People aren't going to replace their iPads every year, at least most people wont. An iPad is like an appliance, and it lasts and works good for many years. iPads are being used like crazy by everyone who has them.

     

    The total tablet market might be shrinking, but it's not because tablets are no longer useful, or that people don't use their iPads much. There are obviously other factors at play here.

     

    I also hope that Apple delivers on their iPad Pro soon. 




    I stopped using my iPad as much as I used too, but its also 5 years old.  My wife has bought 3 iPhones in that time frame; i agree and think the turn-over rate is the main factor in Tablet sales declining

  • Reply 14 of 24
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 432member
    I also have had three iPads, two of which I have donated or passed on to friends.

    But the iPad Air 2 is really ideal in my opinion and its a shame that folks haven't really taken the time to try it out. I use it in place of a notepad in meetings (thank you Notability and Livescribe), I love Paper, and with full Microsoft Office, Apple, and Google office products all on the tablet I can converse with clients in any document format they prefer. It is still more difficult to do "heavy work" - mapping, CAD, active spreadsheets (for me).

    I don't think folks will upgrade as often (probably about the same rate as upgrading a laptop - about every 3 to 5 years), so I still believe that that is what is causing the declining sales.

    Longer term I think that smaller devices are going to "do it all". Displays, public and private, that accept Airplay type mirroring, will provide easy access for digital media consumption as well as presentations and daily work. One could still carry around their own display, but I think that is not going to be the norm in the near future, so maybe tablets will have a shorter lifespan as that becomes a reality.
  • Reply 15 of 24
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    I seldom use my iPads. I have purchased 3 in all starting with the original. I was using my iPad mini last night to visit AI via a cellular connection. The page had so many ads that it would not even load with 2 bars of AT&T LTE. They really need to allow extensions in mobile Safari so I can block ads. I use Ghostery and Click to Flash, as well as some custom Javascript I wrote to eliminate the crap on AI's web page on my Mac so I never see ads. I literally could not use the AI site on an iPad over cellular.


    I actually use iPad a lot at home for Facetime with family across the globe and reading news. My iPad Mini is also used often for car onboard entertainment and navigation system (of course using iPhone hot spot). My $220 Mini 2 in my Bimmer puts $2K+ BMW navigation system to shame.

  • Reply 16 of 24
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

    iPads started the whole tablet craze, and iPads have been around for some years now.

     

    People aren't going to replace their iPads every year, at least most people wont. An iPad is like an appliance, and it lasts and works good for many years. iPads are being used like crazy by everyone who has them.

     

    The total tablet market might be shrinking, but it's not because tablets are no longer useful, or that people don't use their iPads much. There are obviously other factors at play here.

     

    I also hope that Apple delivers on their iPad Pro soon. 


    True, iPad life is at least 3-4 years close to notebook computers.

  • Reply 17 of 24
    I love my iPad Retina. Use it all the time. The only reason I haven't bought another is it works well and while the newer ones are faster mine is enough for casual web surfing (which is what I have it for) or watching a movie on a plane. I will say it's getting a little long in the tooth and if the rumors of a larger iPad "Pro" model are true I'll be in line for that.
  • Reply 18 of 24

    I only had my iPad3 for eighteen months before I jumped all over the Air 2.  My wife wanted my 3 anyway, and the improvements in the Air 2 were just too compelling to pass up.

     

    Note that my use case is probably niche - not merely content consumption, but daily music production tasks (income-generating).  The performance improvements were game-changing, and TouchID was the security icing on top.

  • Reply 19 of 24
    Analysts: they don't include iPads when counting PC sales, but they lump convertible PCs and iPads when counting "tablet" sales. WTF.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,017member

    No surprises here.

     

    This is just a natural leveling of the whole product category in the marketplace. Rate of growth is slowing but the total installed base is still rising - significantly. The iPad flushed out a lot of low end of the PC market where PCs were being used only for content consumption and low demand productivity tasks like email, browsing, and web surfing. Convertibles and other contraptions like the Surface will grab some more of the PC usage market immediately above the one taken over by the iPad. The iPad paved the way for devices like the Surface because it convinced a lot of buyers that they no longer needed a 90 lb tower, keyboard, and massive monitor to get real office/student work done. Compared to a conventional PC with a 24-30 inch monitor (or two) and terabytes of storage the Surface is pretty anemic. But the iPad changed the game and people are willing to sacrifice sheer power for portability and mobility and some applications have moved downscale to meet the new normal for the 80% of the market. 

     

    What this means is that tablets are PC replacements and you should expect their replacement cycle to be closer to that of PCs. For Apple products you have to push the envelope out even further because they tend to be well built and have a longer service life.

     

    The new MacBook is really Apple's answer to the convertible/Surface and should be considered part of a new product category. It will definitely eat into iPad sales going forward. 

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