Huawei, TCL-Alcatel and LG benefited from “pockets of growth” in the tablet space during Q1 2015, according to Strategy Analytics, but the overall picture for the sector was not a positive one.
China’s Huawei in particular performed strongly, shipping 1.3 million units in Q1 2015, increasing its market share to 2.4 per cent from 0.9 per cent a year ago, while Apple and Samsung suffered shipment declines of 23 per cent and 31 per cent respectively in the space over the first part of year, contributing heavily to an 8 per cent decline for shipments across the overall tablet market.
Strategy Analytics believes the two main players will use 2015 to rebuild for future growth, as “smaller, more nimble competitors gain ground with innovative new features and cellular-connected tablets”, according to Eric Smith, senior analyst.
“Phenomenal historic growth has come to an end and a much more normal growth rate is now prevailing,” he added.
Samsung is now looking at ways to implement a tighter focus on its stronger tablet portfolio offering in the mid to low price tier, including the Tab S, Tab 4 and the new Tab A, while Apple continues to overcome challenges with iPad saturation.
Market watchers have also claimed the launch of larger Apple smartphones, including the iPhone 6 Plus, could further marginalise iPad sales.
Strategy Analytics’ Peter King said Apple is now embarking on “a marketing campaign to revive sales after a five quarter slump”.
He added: “[Apple’s] work to address enterprise tablet usage with IBM on the MobileFirst partnership and some new features rumoured for upcoming models will position the company well for long-term growth.”