Worldwide tablet shipments posted a decline of 14.2% year over year in the third quarter of 2023 (3Q23), totaling 33.2 million units, according to preliminary data from research firm IDC.
Despite constricted demand, the market saw an upsurge of 18% over the previous quarter due to seasonality.
Meanwhile Chromebook shipments also contracted in 3Q23 with shipments totaling 3.5 million units for a year-over-year decline of 20.8%.
However, the market for Chromebooks is potentially in a better position due to a pending refresh in the education segment and leftover budgets within government spending.
Apple led the tablet market with shipments of 12.5 million units yet declined 15.1% year over year. Unlike past years, Apple has forgone the launch of new models during the third quarter, which typically provides an uplift in the second half of the year. However, not all is lost as Apple has been able to maintain share since last year.
Samsung shipped 6 million units in the quarter and ranked second overall. Though the company’s shipments have contracted, the tablet maker seems focused on a turnaround by concentrating on the premium segment along with additional marketing campaigns.
Lenovo and Huawei landed in the third and fourth position this quarter with shipments of 2.6 million and 2.3 million units respectively.
After a dismal performance last quarter, Amazon was able to reposition itself in the top 5 by gearing up for the holiday season and launching a new value-priced premium device, the Fire Max 11.
“The first three quarters of 2023 recorded some of the largest contractions in the tablet market and the upcoming holiday season isn’t expected to be very different. With no dramatic improvements in macroeconomic conditions, project and purchase delays are expected to be pushed further into 2024,” said Anuroopa Nataraj, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
“Refresh in the education segment and growth in use cases across verticals might help the tablet market to stay afloat in the long run, but in the near future we don’t expect any significant uptick in tablet sales.”
“Tablets have unfortunately always found themselves in an awkward middle ground between PCs and smartphones, and this continues to put downward pressure on the market,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
“However, the most successful tablet makers have realized that the tablet works best when paired with rather than against a PC or smartphone and as such we expect other tablet makers to follow suit by offering a more unified software and services experience though this will take some time to coalesce.”