Tablet makers face challenges as large-screen phones grab more market share, IDC reports.
Phablets and the longer replacement cycle for tablets have left a dent in demand for slates. The growth rate of tablet sales may already be leveling off, according data from IDC. Tablet makers shipped 50.4 million devices, a precipitous drop of 35.7% compared to the holiday quarter, and a meager increase of just 3.9% from the year-ago period. The numbers suggest 2014 may be a difficult one for companies that make tablets.
Apple managed to stay ahead of the competition during the first quarter, with shipments of 16.4 million iPads. Remember, that's a big drop from the 19.5 million iPads Apple shipped during the first quarter of 2013. Apple's share of the market contracted slightly, from 33.2% in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 32.5% in the first quarter of 2014. Apple introduced the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display during the fourth quarter and enjoyed robust holiday sales.
Samsung saw its share of the tablet market increase markedly. During the first quarter of 2013, Samsung enjoyed 17.5% of the tablet market. That figure grew to 22.3% during the first quarter thanks to shipments of 11.2 million devices. Samsung sells a range of tablets, including the high-end TabPRO and NotePRO line, as well as a couple mid-market slates and entry-level devices. The TabPRO/NotePRO devices didn't reach the market until halfway through the quarter.
This article continues on EE Times' sister site, InformationWeek.
— Eric Zeman writes for InformationWeek.