The global tablet market ended 2015 with its worst year-on-year performance ever. Shipments fell 11% to 69.9 million units during the fourth quarter and fell 8% to 224.3 million units for the full year of 2015, according to the new “Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and Market Share by Operating System: Q4 2015” report from Strategy Analytics’ Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies (TTS) service.
Bright spots in the tablet market continued to be in the 2-in-1 tablet and Windows tablet segments while traditional slates continued their downward slide.
“Apple suffered big setbacks this year as a lack of innovation during the last several years caught up to iPad sales. Instead, Apple has focused on its MacBooks, iPhone 6/6+, and Apple Watch releases,” says Peter King, research director, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies. “The launch of the iPad Pro failed to meet expectations during the quarter. While we see real long-term potential for iPad Pro in the enterprise and verticals, there was not enough demand to move the needle in Q4.”
Eric Smith, senior analyst, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies service adds: ”2-in-1 Detachable Tablets have reached an inflection point in 2015 as computing needs continue to trend more and more mobile and Tablets with Windows 10 can compete against iOS in the premium and high price bands and equally well against Android in the mid and lower price bands. The Q4 2015 launch of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book was met with many “Surface clones” by Microsoft’s OEM partners at lower price points. This variety of devices will bolster momentum of Windows Tablets going forward.”
2-in-1 Tablet shipments grew at a 379% year-on-year growth rate in 2015 while traditional slate shipments fell 11% during the same period. Although 2015 growth has been explosive for 2-in-1 tablets, it is on top of a small base and can’t make a major directional difference for the wider tablet market yet. Similarly, Windows Tablet shipments grew by 59% year-on-year in 2015. Android fell 7% and iOS dropped the most at 22% during the same period.