Worldwide Tablet Shipments Q2 2016: Amazon Lost 50% Market In The Last 2 Quarters [REPORT]

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The latest report by IDC on worldwide tablet shipments in Q2 2016 illustrates the pathetic state of tablet Industry. Pathetic is the right word as the global tablet shipments declined by 12.3% YoY in the second quarter. Around 38.7 million units (including slates and detachables) were shipped worldwide in Q2 2016, compared to 44.1 million units in the year-ago quarter. On Quarter over Quarter basis also the global tablet shipments recorded a drop of 2.27% in Q2 2016.

If we ignore the last holiday quarter, Q4 2015, during which 66.2 million units of tablets were shipped, we can decipher that Quarter over Quarter the tablet shipments have witnessed a considerable decline for the last seven quarters in a row.

Consumers aren’t willing to buy the tablets anymore, and it’s high time for the manufacturers to reform their product lines. The growth in the detachable market is a sign that consumers and enterprises are vying for “more productive form factors and Operating Systems” belives Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC. Despite the rising adoption rate of detachables in the tablet market, slate tablets still dominate the tablet shipments in the quarter.


Android once again dominated the tablet OS segment with 65% share, followed by iOS, which captured 26% of the total tablet shipments in Q2 2016, and the remaining 9% belonged to the Windows OS.

A number of Android tablet vendors has switched to more lucrative Microsoft’s Surface OS. Consequently, Android ‘vendor list has contracted‘ according to IDC. Jitesh highlighted that in the current scenario, it’s tough for Android to compete with iOS and Windows detachable products in the tablet segment. But Android’s next update with better multitasking support would make the scenario much more interesting in coming 12 to 18 months.

But the biggest surprise came from Amazon that has outperformed its rivals in Q2 2016, registered an overwhelming 1208.9% YoY growth in its tablet shipments. So, what helped Amazon to witness an unprecedented spike in its tablet sales? According to Jean-Philippe Bouchard, research director, Tablet segment at IDC, Amazon managed to register a mind-boggling success because of its very focused approach to positioning, price, and purpose.

Tablet Shipments Q2 2016: Lenovo and Huawei Shine

Apple and Samsung, both have dominated the chart despite the year-over-year decline in tablet shipments by 9.2% and 24.5%, respectively. The Chinese manufacturers, Lenovo and Huawei, posted positive growth in shipment numbers on the YoY basis in Q2 2016. Whereas, Amazon’s tablets stole the show, registering a 1208.9% YoY surge in its tablet shipments.

Apple iPad Safeguard Its Market

Apple sits at the helm with around 9.9 million units of tablets (iPad) shipped in Q2 2016. The company experienced a 9.2% YoY drop from the 11 million units shipped in the same quarter last year. Despite the decline in the shipments, the Cupertino giant registered 7% YoY increase in its tablet revenue in fiscal Q3 2016.


Price reduction on its previous generation iPads and the current Pro model helped Apple to record a commendable quarter. In fact, Apple posted the best tablet shipments growth in Q2 2016 in spite of the continuous decline in its tablet shipments over the previous ten quarters. The growth could also be attributed to the increased average selling price (ASP) of iPad in the quarter that stood at $419.

Samsung Lost to Competitors

Samsung saw a massive 24% YoY decline in their tablet shipments in Q2 2016. Thus grabbed the 2nd spot with 6 million units for a 15.6% share. The company has not yet moved into the detachable category, thus leaving room for enhancing its shipment numbers in the future.

The company lost nearly 17% of its market share to competitors, down to 15.6% from 18.2% share in the second quarter last year.

Lenovo Strengthening Its Market

Innovations have carried Lenovo to the number 3 spot in tablet shipment Q2 2016 list. The company registered a 3.1% YoY growth in its tablet shipments in the quarter. Asia/Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and are the potential markets for the Chinese giant.

The company has managed to grab the 3rd spot on the backs of its unique innovations like Yoga Tab 3 that housed a built-in projector. Thus, the Chinese behemoth has made its mark on the global level too. However, a majority of its shipments still come from its budget tablet offerings. Therefore, the firm must not overlook its cheaper variants of tablets.

Huawei Outperforms Others

Another Chinese manufacturer, Huawei registered a whopping 71% YoY increase in its tablet shipments in Q2 2016. With 2.2 million units shipped in the quarter, it has secured the 4th position in the list. A majority of the shipments in the quarter were catered by its slate variant. Though the company betted on the detachable variant as well that the gambled failed to appeal to the masses. The company is enjoying a phenomenal success in its smartphone segment as well, shipped a mind-boggling

The company is enjoying a remarkable success in its smartphone segment as well, shipped a mind-boggling 31 million units of smartphones in Q2 2016.

Amazon Emerges As the Biggest Loser

The manufacturer that apparently stole the show in the Q2 2016 tablet shipments is Amazon. From ashes to glory, the company has recorded the greatest year-over-year growth that has resulted in 4% market share. Amazon’s Fire tablets stole the show majorly because of the lower price and Amazon’s e-commerce domination. IDC predicts that the firm would repeat its performance in the coming quarter as well, primarily because of Amazon’s Prime Day sale.

On the contrary, Amazon lost nearly 50% of its market in the last two quarters. From 7.9% market share that Amazon has had in Q4 2015, the Kindle maker’s market share is disappointingly shrunk to just 4% in Q2 2016. This has made Amazon the biggest loser among all the top tablet vendors of Q2 2016.

Final Words

Apple and Samsung appear to dominate the future tablet shipments also. The run of the mill success in the tablet category must have boosted the confidence of Amazon. Therefore one must wait for the future surprises from the firm. On the other hand, the Chinese manufacturers have also started banking on the innovations, and that has been paying off well so far. The future scenario would be interesting to witness.

The decline in the tablet shipments may be attributed to the rising Phablet market globally. Smartphones have become a constant companion of a vast majority of the population around the world. The top 10 smartphones of the world are Phablets as a majority of consumers demand large screen smartphones. According to a study, tablet market would eventually diminish giving way to Phablets. People are spending more time on Smartphone than Tablet devices as time spent on mobile has grown by a whopping 117% YoY between 2014-15. The following chart shows the diminishing tablet market.


The rising adoption of Ultrabooks and Chromebooks has also affected the tablet market substantially. They are easier to carry and offer a variety of applications along with basic PC functions. A considerable 178 million units of Ultrabooks are expected to be shipped by the end of 2016. Chromebooks that incorporate Google’s Play store as well would give a stiff competition to the tablet market in the future as the farther ones are cheaper and offer a variety of functions when compared to basic tablets.


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