Shipments of tablets and 2-in-1 devices fell more than 20 per cent year-on-year in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in the first quarter of 2015, due in part to negative economic situations in Russia and Ukraine, and the strength of the U.S. dollar relative to the depreciation of their local currencies.
According to latest research by IDC, a total of 2.7 million devices were shipped to the channels in the first three months of this year. Other factors that had a negative impact on the CEE tablet market included the growing maturity of the market, reflected by longer device life cycles, and the popularity of alternative devices such as large-screen smartphones.
"Although the CEE tablet market is reaching saturation, segments with growth potential still exist--such as detachable 2-in-1s and devices with fourth-generation mobile connectivity and increased storage and battery life," said Jiří Teršel, senior research analyst at IDC.
Tablets with cellular connectivity are outgrowing the rest of the market, providing an additional revenue stream for OEMs and mobile operators. They also help position the segment as true mobile solutions rather than stay-at-home devices, IDC added, noting that OEMs should continue to focus on potential growth areas like the cellular-ready tablets and 2-in-1 devices.
In terms of vendors, Samsung was in the lead with 20.8 per cent of the total CEE tablet market and Lenovo was in second place.
Third-placed Apple continued on a downward slope in both total shipments and market share owing to the cannibalisation of its tablet sales from its iPhone product line, IDC said.
"The U.S. dollar appreciation in the EMEA region also had a negative impact on the vendor's sales, as price-sensitive customers steered towards cheaper and older iPad variants. However, the decline in ASP [average selling price] was partially offset by an increased mix of iPads with higher storage capacity," the research company observed.
Other vendors on the market are now faced with a decision to either consolidate or exit the market, IDC added.
"In the latter months of the year, some vendors (particularly the smaller ones) will not be able to sustain their revenue flows, due to increasing competitiveness in the lower-tier segment and increasing market concentration in the upper-tier segment," noted Teršel.
- see this IDC release
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