Apple and Samsung lead tablet shipments in a struggling market

Market research firm IDC has published its report on the state of the tablet market for the first quarter of 2016, and it's not a glowing one. Consumers remain disinterested in tablets as a category, and worldwide shipments of these devices—including both slates and convertibles—dropped 14.7% compared to this time last year. That drop continues a year-and-a-half-long slide in tablet sales, which IDC blames on "first quarter seasonality and an overall disinterested customer base."

Apple and Samsung bore the worst of the slump. That's not surprising, since Apple has the biggest share of the market at 25.9%, while Samsung holds the runner-up spot with 15.2% piece of the pie. Those marketshare numbers are down versus last quarter too, from 27.2% and 18%. Amazon's third-place slice of 5.7%, Lenovo's fourth-place 5.5% share, and Huawei's 5.2% take round out the top five players. The "Others" category, which accounts for 42.6% of shipments, demonstrates just how many players are in this game, though.

Included in that "Others" category is one of the highest-profile players in the tablet market: Microsoft. While Surface sales have been consistently "good", it seems they aren't quite good enough to break into the leaderboard. Many vendors are offering Windows 2-in-1 devices these days, so the Redmond company faces tough competition even in its home court. 

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