IDC: Worldwide tablet market continues to decline

Do we officially live in a post-tablet world yet? IDC reports that tablet sales worldwide declined for the third straight quarter, continuing a trend that started at the end of 2014. In the second quarter of 2015, IDC estimated global tablet sales at 44.7 million units, down 7% from 48 million from the same period last year.

IDC research director for tablets Jean Philippe Bouchard blames several factors. "Longer life cycles, increased competition from other categories such as larger smartphones, combined with the fact that end users can install the latest operating systems on their older tablets has stifled the initial enthusiasm for these devices in the consumer market," Bouchard said. The last point likely refers to Apple's decision to support the iPad 2 with iOS 9.

Apple and Samsung  came in first and second in IDC's sales numbers, respectively, and they also suffered the most: each company posted double-digit year-on-year declines. Lenovo actually saw a slight increase in sales at number three. LG and Huawei tied for fourth place, with 3.6-3.7% of the market. Those companies grew sales by 103.6% and 246.4%, respectively, from less than a million units to 1.6 million units each. Bouchard said IDC believes growing vendors found ways to "address available pockets of growth."

Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, believes tablet makers can turn the market around. Ubrani says 2-in-1 tablets and new software features like iOS 9's multitasking should bring growth to the market. 

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