Global Tablet Shipments Drop 12 Percent Year-Over-Year in Q4

Facing the growing popularity of phablets, the tablet market experienced its first worldwide decline after multiple quarters of slowing demand. According to Canalys, global tablet shipments fell 12 percent from Q4 2013 to 67 million units in Q4 2014. The end of 2014 also marked the fourth consecutive quarterly loss for Apple’s tablet shipments. In Q4, iPad shipments plunged 18 percent, while Samsung’s tablet shipments fell by 24 percent. Although Amazon and Lenovo had promising seasonal sales, the industry experienced an overall drop in demand.

Apple_iPhone_6“One of the reasons for the decline in shipments is the fact that many customers who purchased tablets at the end of 2013 were in no hurry to buy new devices,” explains TechCrunch. “Furthermore, phablets — especially the iPhone 6 Plus — were the big winners during the holiday season, as noted in a report last month by Flurry.”

Larger screen smartphones continue to grow in popularity, while price competition for tablets has led to lower margins — two factors that seem to be significantly impacting demand for both high-end and cheaper tablets.

“In Q4 2014, 7-inch Android tablets made up half of all Android tablet shipments,” explains TechCrunch, “but that is a significant drop from the share of 66 percent they took just three months earlier in Q1 2014.”

In Apple’s case, demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as the company’s laptops and desktops, may be impacting iPad sales.