Worldwide tablet shipments declined 17.4% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2023 (4Q23), totaling 36.8 million units, according to preliminary data from IDC.
This is the largest decline in fourth quarter tablet shipments since 2016.
For calendar year 2023, worldwide tablet shipments totaled 128.5 million units, a decline of 20.5% compared to 2022 and the lowest annual volume since 2011.
“With no significant improvements to the economy and consumers allocating their money to things beyond consumer electronics, tablets may not be very high on the priority list. Project delays and spending freezes have also led to purchase postponement through much of 2023,” said Anuroopa Nataraj, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.
“2024 is expected to show some rebound opportunities, provided the year is more economically sound. However, overall challenges remain in the tablet market, and technological advances around AI will likely focus more on the PC and smartphone for the next two years, but tablets will increasingly become part of that conversation.”
Apple managed to retain its top spot in the tablet market, despite a notable decline in shipments for both the fourth quarter (-29.3%) and the full year (-19.8%). While this caused some erosion in Apple’s 4Q23 market share, its full-year share was stable at more than 37% of the market.
Samsung remained in second place with somewhat better results and little change in its market share for the quarter and the year.
Xiaomi and Huawei both saw solid growth in the fourth quarter – 35.0% and 21.2% respectively.
Xiaomi’s aggressive marketing and expanding footprint worldwide helped the company to displace Amazon from the top 5 in 4Q23 while Huawei posted the best results among the top 5 companies for the full year, with shipments declining just 4.0% year over year.