For a while there, it appeared that the mobile tablet market was unstoppable, with new models of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Apple’s iPad flying out the door. However, according to a report from Statista, sales towards the end of last year were off from the previous year.
The company reported that, in the fourth quarter of 2014, worldwide tablet shipments dropped for the first time since Apple introduced its original iPad in 2010. Numbers from IDC last week indicated that companies shipped a total of 76.1 million units between October and December 2014 — a drop from the 78.6 million devices that shipped in the previous year’s holiday period.
Out of all tablet producers, only Lenovo managed to emerge without any drops in shipments, mostly due to its position in the Asia/Pacific market. The company surged with a near 10 million increase over the previous year, going from 25.8 million to 35.2 million.
According to the chart below, Amazon probably suffered the most critical drop, going from 5.8 million units down to 1.7 million units over a year’s time. Apple came in closely behind, with a drop from 26 million units to 21.4 million units, respectively, while Samsung had a smaller drop from 13.5 million to 11 million units. Asus only had a one million unit drop, from four million to three million.
That’s not to say that the tablet market is in trouble — far from it. With millions of units still primed to sell, it’s hardly a fad that will be going anyway soon. Still, companies may want to take note of the drop-off, as they could fall even more come this holiday season, especially with the rise of “phablets” and larger phone devices that make it just as convenient to browse websites, watch videos and other functions.
Could this be the year we see big changes with tablets Only time will tell, but, judging by Apple and Samsung’s consistency to bring new technology to the table, it seems very likely. Apple is rumored to be working on a large-sized iPad, and perhaps there are other innovations in the works that could start tablet sales growing again.