The worldwide tablet market saw its first year-on-year decline in Q4 2014, as key vendors Apple and Samsung failed to drive the market, according to research firm IDC.
Total shipments for tablets and “2-in-1” devices stood at 76.1 million for the three months, down 3.2 per cent. The picture for the full year was brighter, increasing 4.4 per cent to 229.6 million units.
“Although Apple expanded its iPad lineup by keeping around older models and offering a lower entry price point of $249, it still wasn’t enough to spur iPad sales given the excitement around the launch of the new iPhones. Meanwhile, Samsung’s struggles continued as low-cost vendors are quickly proving that mid- to high-priced Android tablets simply aren’t cut out for today’s tablet market,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for the company.
Apple has maintained its market share lead, with a 28.1 per cent volume share, while despite its “woes”, Samsung held second place with 14.5 per cent. Lenovo (4.8 per cent), ASUS (4 per cent) and Amazon (2.3 per cent) rounded out the top five, although only Lenovo managed to increase its share.
The Chinese company “maintained its tight grip on the Asia Pacific market thanks to its massive scale in the PC business and the success of its low-cost tablet offerings”.
Looking forward, IDC said that it is maintaining a forecast for growth in 2015.
Jean Philippe Bouschard, research director for tablets, said: “Microsoft’s new OS, a general shift towards larger screen form factor and productivity focused solutions, and technology innovations such as gesture interface that could be introduced in tablets will help the market maintain positive growth in 2015.”