Global shipments of tablets in the first quarter of 2024 saw a slight increase of 0.5% to a total of 30.8 million units, according to preliminary data from IDC. This growth followed a two-year decline from the second quarter of 2021, mainly due to market saturation.

Despite continued economic challenges, IDC notes that the increase in shipments this quarter was driven by the start of an upgrade cycle, although it is unlikely to match the peak levels seen during the pandemic.

Despite the general market trend, there is a shift towards premium tablets as consumers look for productivity-focused devices. Notably, worldwide tablet shipments declined 17.4% year-on-year in Q4 2023.

Company Highlights in Q1 2024:
  • Apple faced an 8.5% decline in shipments compared to the previous year, mainly due to economic conditions and the absence of new models. The company aims to clear older inventory before launching new models in 2Q24.
  • Samsung, which occupies second place, experienced a 5.8% decline in shipments, influenced by competitive promotions and the lack of new products. The company focuses on improving the user experience and promoting premium products.
  • HUAWEI maintained its third position, achieving a remarkable growth of 43.6% year-on-year with 2.9 million units shipped. The resurgence of its smartphone business likely contributed to this growth.
  • Lenovo, in fourth place, saw a 13.2% increase in shipments. The Tab P series has driven the growth of detachable models, although slate tablets still dominate shipments.
  • Xiaomi maintained its position in the top 5 with an impressive year-on-year growth of 92.6%, shipping 1.8 million units. The company has seen significant growth outside of its largest market, China, in several regions.
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Speaking about the current market dynamics, Anuroopa Nataraj, Senior Research Analyst, Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers at IDC commented:

The tablet market is showing early signs of recovery in the first quarter. The real momentum will likely increase during the next upgrade cycle, especially with the increased use of tablets in education and the gig economy in business segments.

However, challenges remain as competition from PCs and smartphones continues to affect the growth trajectory of the tablet market. However, there is still potential for growth, especially with the integration of AI capabilities, mirroring trends seen in other device categories.


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