Marking the sixteenth consecutive quarter of declines in the tablet market, the third quarter experienced an 8.6 percent fall on a year-over-year basis. While 39.9 million tablets shipped globally in the third quarter of 2017, only 36.4 million units shipped this year’s third quarter, VentureBeat reported.
When it comes to brands of tablets, Apple stayed in the lead. Amazon and Samsung were also in the top three. Huawei, however, was unique in the top five spots in that its tablet shipments increased.
IDC created the estimates by looking at tablets that have detachable as well as slate form factors. IDC Research Analyst Lauren Guenveur said in a press release, “The detachable market has failed to see growth in 2018, a worrying trend that has plagued the category off and on since the end of 2016. In October, we finally saw the highly anticipated refreshes of Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Pro, as well as new products by Samsung and Google, which led us to believe that the last quarter of the year will turn the detachable category around, at least for the time being.”
The news comes as Apple has launched new — and much more expensive — versions of its MacBook Air laptop and iPad Pro in an attempt to boost sales. According to The Wall Street Journal in late October, the higher-priced strategy is the same one the company used to strengthen its iPhone business.
In fact, one year after raising the price of its flagship iPhone to $999, the company has increased prices for new versions of the MacBook Air by 20 percent, the Mac mini by 60 percent and the iPad Pro by about 25 percent. For the first time since 2010, the new MacBook Air has been given a full design upgrade, complete with a high-resolution Retina display, narrower screen borders and Touch ID. Its price starts at $1,199, compared with $999 for the existing model.
The move comes as PC shipments have stalled at about 10 percent in the past three years, while Mac unit sales have fallen 6.5 percent. In addition, revenue for iPads has declined 40 percent from a peak in fiscal 2013, as bigger smartphone screens have made tablets obsolete for many people.