Pockets of growth in the tablet market was found among smaller vendors like Huawei, TCL-Alcatel, and LG while market leaders Apple and Samsung suffered double-digit shipment declines in the first quarter (Q1) 2015, pushing the total market 8% lower year-on-year, according to Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com).

Smaller vendors are picking up steam in this environment, but Apple and Samsung are using 2015 as a rebuilding year for future growth, according to the research group. Huawei had a particularly good Q1 2015, having shipped 1.3 million units, a 147 % year-on-year increase, putting Huawei’s total tablet market share at 2.4% and 3.5% in the Android tablet market. North America will account for 28% of global tablet shipment volumes in 2015 and the region’s tablet user penetration will reach 49% in 2015.

“Apple has begun a marketing campaign to revive sales after a five quarter slump. Recent history has shown that thinner and slightly faster SKUs aren’t going to bring iPad back to growth, but their work to address enterprise tablet usage with IBM on the MobileFirst partnership and some new features rumored for upcoming models will position the company well for long-term growth,” says Peter King, service director, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies, Strategy Analytics.

Eric Smith, senior analyst, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies, adds: “2015 is shaping up to be a year of rebuilding for the major Tablet vendors while smaller, more nimble competitors gain ground with innovative new features and cellular-connected Tablets. Phenomenal historic growth has come to an end and a much more normal growth rate is now prevailing.”