IDC: Worldwide tablet market slid 12.3% in Q2

amazon fire tablet

The worldwide tablet market shrunk in the second quarter as consumers increasingly sought to use slates to boost productivity rather than for entertainment, according to IDC.

Vendors shipped a total of 38.7 million tablets in the second quarter, IDC estimates, down 12.3 percent from the same period last year. Apple maintained its status as the top vendor, claiming 25.8 percent of the market, but its shipments slid 9.2 percent year-over-year.

An IDC analyst said the firm was still compiling data regarding sales of cellular-enabled tablets in the second quarter and couldn't share that information yet. But the firm said 35 percent of tablets shipped worldwide in the first quarter were cellular-enabled. 

A Strategy Analytics forecast earlier this year predicted U.S. carriers will grow their tablet subscriptions to 28 million by the end of 2016, even as the global market for tablets plummets.

IDC's latest report said Samsung, which was the No. 2 worldwide tablet vendor in the second quarter with 15.6 percent of the market, saw its shipments plunge 24.5 percent.

Sixty-five percent of tablets shipped during the period ran Android, 26 percent were powered by Apple's iOS and 9 percent ran Windows. The number of Android vendors has contracted, though, as some manufacturers have begun to offer Windows-based slates to hedge their bets against any decline in Android tablet sales.

"The market has spoken as consumers and enterprises seek more productive form factors and operating systems – it's the reason we're seeing continued growth in detachables," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "At present, it's difficult for Android to compete with iOS or Windows detachable products. However, the next 12 to 18 months will be very interesting as Google launches the next version of Android with better multi-tasking support and as they begin to bring together their two operating systems."

Lenovo tablets accounted for 6.6 percent of the worldwide market in the second quarter, and Huawei took 5.6 percent of the market, shipping 2.2 million units. Amazon rounded out the top five vendors as its market share shot to 4 percent, up twelvefold over the .3 percent it claimed during the same period a year ago.

"Credit goes to Amazon as its performance this quarter has been reflective of the aptly named Fire tablets. The low price combined with the company's online presence has once again afforded Amazon a spot in the top 5 vendor list," IDC said in a press release. "Given the growing popularity of Amazon's Prime Day Sale, it would not be surprising if Amazon performs similarly in the next quarter. It is important to note that the unprecedented growth is partially attributed to the fact that IDC did not include the 6-inch tablets offered by Amazon in 2Q15."

For more:
- read this IDC press release

Related articles:
U.S. carriers to grow tablet subscriptions to 28M by year-end, even as global market plummets
Verizon launches new prepaid plans for tablets, mobile hotspots, starting at $15 for 500 MB
As U.S. tablet sales fall overall, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint see increasing sales of cellular tablets
Sprint clings to No. 3 carrier spot in Q1, as tablet customer additions are offset by phone losses