iPad rules the steadily shrinking tablet market

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Rapha designer Alex Valdman uses iPad Pro for everything.
Rapha designer Alex Valdman uses iPad Pro for everything.
Photo: Apple

The iPad continues to dominate the tablet market, but the tablet market continues to decline.

For a 10th-straight quarter, year-over-year sales of tablet computers fell to a five-year low, according to the market research firm IDC. Even with enviable sales figures, iPad revenues have had a year-over-year slide for the last 13 quarters, according to the IDC report.

Earnings on the iPad last quarter were $3.8 billion, down from the $4.4 billion in the same quarter in 2016. Apple sold 8.9 million units in Q2, exceeding expectations, CFO Luca Maestri said during an earnings call earlier this week.

So is the iPad floating in a personal computing limbo?

IDC’s report says consumers are losing interest in tablets as they become even more dependent on smartphones.

“The rate at which the tablet market grew from 2010 to 2013 was unlike many other consumer-oriented device markets we’ve seen before,” IDC’s program vice president Ryan Reith said, his comment published earlier today on MacRumors. “However, it appears for many reasons consumers became less eager to refresh these devices or in some instances purchase them at all.

“We continue to believe the leading driver for this was the increased dependency on smartphones, along with rather minimal technology and form factor progression.”

The iPad Pro gave Apple a boost in tablet revenues, its ability to multitask and provide greater on-screen creativity with the companion Apple Pencil, popular with artists and designers.

Apple, according to IDC, has just under 25 percent share of the global tablet market. Samsung was second with 16.5 percent with competitors Huawei, Amazon and Lenovo record single-digit market shares.

MacRumors points out the estimated sales figures come from shipments within the distribution network and may not reflect direct sales to customers.

Source: MacRumors