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Tablet market keeps growing

Global tablet shipments improved 5% year-on-year as most top vendors achieve double-digit growth

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Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, and Amazon all posted strong tablet sales for the first half of 2021, thanks to record demand spurred by hybrid work and digitalised classrooms.

However, according to a new report by Strategy Analytics, supply constraints negatively affected some major vendors from meeting demand slightly earlier than expected, raising questions about what the second half of the year will bring. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the report finds, tension between high demand and low component supply will test vendors and their channel partners.

Eric Smith, director of Connected Computing says, “Tablet shipments were essentially flat in Q2 2021 at 45.2 million units compared to Q1 2021 as supply constraints started hitting the tablet market faster than anticipated. Hybrid working and virtual learning options continue to fuel high demand for mobile computing devices, but vendors are expected to face increasing supply shortages for the rest of 2021. If higher component and transportation costs make their way into tablet price tags as expected, the competitive environment for mobile computing devices will be intense.”

Chirag Upadhyay, industry analyst says, “The Android tablet market is undergoing big changes as vendors retool their portfolios for more productivity solutions for the hybrid work and digital learning era. Samsung leads the segment with its Galaxy Tab S7 including premium features like 5G connectivity, while Lenovo recently released its Tab P11 device at a lower price point than most detachables on the market. Even Amazon is addressing this massive need with its newest Fire HD 10 Productivity Bundle, which includes Office 365 access.”

Figure 1. Q2 2021: Top 5 Tablet Vendors Marketshare (Source: Strategy Analytics)
Exhibit: Double Digit Growth for Most Top Tablet Vendors in Q2 2021

Apple iOS/iPadOS shipments (sell-in) grew 11% year-on-year to 15.8 million units in Q2 2021, with worldwide market share climbing 1.8 percentage points to 35%.

Samsung is the leading Android vendor, shipping 8.2 million tablets in total and growing 19% year-on-year in Q2 2021 on a diverse portfolio of entertainment tablets and productivity detachables. Market share increased by 2.1 percentage points to 18% during the same period.

Lenovo tablet shipments once again showed the strongest year-on-year growth out of the top vendors at 67% to reach 4.7 million units as the vendor picks up market share from Huawei outside of China. Market share climbed 3.8 percentage points year-on-year to 10%.

Amazon had a strong quarter due to its multi-day Prime Day sale event in June, with tablet shipments growing 49% year-on-year in Q2 2021 to 4.2 million units. During this period, market share grew 2.7 percentage point to reach 9%.

Huawei tablet shipments fell year-on-year -57% to 2.1 million units in Q2 2021. Market share fell 6.7 percentage points to 5% compared to Q2 2020 as the US chipset ban is hampering Huawei’s ability to produce and sell high-quality tablets in the ultra-competitive Android market.

The full report from Strategy Analytics’ Connected Computing Devices (CCD) service, Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and Market Share: Q2 2020 Results can be found here: https://www.strategyanalytics.com/access-services/devices/tablets-and-pcs/connected-computing-devices/market-data/report-detail/preliminary-global-tablet-shipments-and-market-share-q2-2021-results-290721

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