Strategy Analytics: Shakeups Abound in the Tablet Market

July 31, 2015
By: Steve Anderson

While the tablet market is something of a lesser phenomenon compared to the smartphone market, there's still quite a bit happening. A new report from Strategy Analytics shows off just how dynamic this particular market is, producing a surprising variety of unexpected twists. How unexpected? How about Windows tablet shipments at an all-time high, just for a start?

The Strategy Analytics report, titled “Global Tablet OS Market Share: Q2 2015”, looks at some of the unexpected market shifts taking places in the tablet field. First, total tablet shipments reached 50.8 million units in 2015's second quarter, and nine percent of those tablets were actually Windows Tablet systems—an increase of four points from the same time the previous year. This was attributed to a combination of factors leading up to the launch of Windows 10, regarded as, essentially, the last version of Windows.

Image via Microsoft Store

Interestingly, the report also notes that total tablet shipments are down three percent against the second quarter of 2014, which saw 52.4 million tablets shipped. Android (News - Alert)-based tablets, meanwhile, stayed flat but held a clear leadership position in the market, holding 70 percent of the shipments for the second quarter of 2015. Apple (News - Alert), meanwhile, was down, hitting an all-time low for market share at 21 percent in the second quarter, which is down four points. Interestingly, Apple's losses meant gains for companies like Huawei (News - Alert) and LG, as well as TCL-Alcatel, which gained market share.

Strategy Analytics' service director Peter King, meanwhile, expects a turnaround for Apple fairly soon, as the company plans to release a pair of new iPads—the iPad Pro measuring in at 12.9 inches and a new iPad Mini 4—for the fourth quarter, which is right around holiday shopping season. Additionally, Huawei and LG's market sector growth, at last report, were due mainly to a better use of 3G and LTE (News - Alert) connections. Meanwhile, senior analyst for tablet and touchscreen strategies Eric Smith also commented, noting that Windows share was on the rise thanks to more availability, though there were some doubts as to whether or not the 2-in-1 detachable tablet concept would hold interest.

Image via Shutterstock

With the holiday shopping season around three months out, it's worth considering just what the tablet market might look like then, and with two new tablets on the way from Apple, it's likely that the numbers we've seen right now will make shifts in the upcoming days. But for now, the market is behaving oddly; Apple and Samsung (News - Alert) are losing share against Huawei and LG, and Microsoft is seeing some of its best numbers ever. These are strange developments, and though these may not last when Apple brings out its new material, they are unusual enough occurrences to merit a second look.

There's a lot going on in this field, with fortunes shifting almost according to the time of year and release schedules. With major destabilizing elements set to occur yet this year, little of what we see now is likely to remain in place by the end of 2015. But still, it's worthwhile to note how volatile the tablets market has become. 




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino