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Tablet sales plunge but phones recover in Q2


The worldwide tablet market fell an additional 16% in Q2 2016, as shipments dropped to their lowest point in three years.
Canalys research shows that 35-million tablets shipped in Q2, as Apple managed to increase its share to 28% at the top of the market.
Samsung continues to occupy the second spot, shipping almost 6-million units for a 16% share of the market.
Lenovo and Huawei took the third and fourth spots, with both shipping just over 2-million units and taking 7% and 6% market share respectively.
Android shipments suffered the biggest hit, falling some 23% globally, as volumes were impacted by significant declines in many Asia Pacific and Latin American markets.
“Competition from smart phones and, more recently, convertible two-in-one PCs has resulted in the weakness we currently see in the consumer segment, particularly cheap slate tablets running Android,” says Wilmer Ang, Canalys research analyst. “Top-tier brands Dell, HP and Sony have all but given up in this space, while the likes of Huawei, Lenovo and Samsung try to leverage their brands and premium designs to hold on to higher price points.”
Away from the consumer market there are some positives points that indicate a slightly brighter future for tablet vendors.
“Microsoft’s Surface Pro and the iPad Pro have confirmed that there is a growing demand for detachable tablets in business,” adds research analyst TuanAnh Nguyen. “We are not going to see B2B demand propel tablet shipments to the heights of previous quarters. But the ongoing transition to Windows 10 and the arrival of multitasking in Android Nougat should provide an opportunity for vendors to capitalize on selling tablets and their associated services to businesses.”
Meanwhile, a Canalys market forecast shows worldwide smart phone shipments will reach just over 1,4-billion units in 2016 – a 5% year-on-year increase.
Shipments in Asia Pacific (excluding Greater China) are expected to grow by 13%.
“The smart phone markets in India and the Philippines are performing well in 2016, with annual growth expected to reach 21% and 26% respectively,” says Ishan Dutt, Canalys research analyst. “Smart phone penetration in these markets remains low, meaning there is a big opportunity for vendors. Growth in established markets is harder to find but, despite shipment declines in the first two quarters, we expect Western Europe and North America to return to growth in the second half of the year. Both regions will end 2016 with single-digit percentage shipment increases, helped by the launch of a new iPhone.”
Despite the new iPhone, Canalys expects Apple’s worldwide shipments will decline in 2016, as it continues to struggle in China.
“The launch of the iPhone 6 saw Apple’s shipments in Greater China skyrocket, but the company has struggled to maintain this momentum,” says research analyst Jessie Ding. “The iPhone 6s had a lackluster reception in comparison and the iPhone SE is unlikely to make a big difference to Apple’s fortunes in the region this year.
“Local players have improved product quality and offer much better value for money. Huawei, Oppo and Vivo offer products with better specifications at significantly lower price points. The iPhones lack features such as waterproofing and wireless charging. Apple needs to catch up with the competition if it wants to compete.”