Tablet Sales Decline While Detachables Dominate The Low-Cost Market

/ 4 years ago


Tablets are commonly perceived as a threat to the traditional desktop and could make laptops obsolete. The processing power of budget tablets is ample for browsing the web, writing e-mails, streaming video and other tasks the mainstream user engages in. On the other hand, tablet sales have plummeted for some time and there’s been a major shift towards detachable units which provides the intuitive touch-screen functionality of tablet and keyboard to write large documents. According to the latest report by the International Data Corporation, this trend appears to be continuing due to the impressive range of ultra-cheap detachable products under $200. Interestingly, tablet vendors shipped 43 million units during the third quarter of 2016, which is a decline of 14.7% year-over-year. In contrast to this, detachables reached a record high as vendors flooded the market.

Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers said about the results:

“Unfortunately, many low-cost detachables also deliver a low-cost experience,”  

“The race to the bottom is something we have already experienced with slates and it may prove detrimental to the market in the long run as detachables could easily be seen as disposable devices rather than potential PC replacements.”

Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director, Tablets at IDC added:

“Beyond the different end-user experience delivered by low- and high-end tablets, we’re witnessing real tectonic movements in the market with slate companion devices sold at the low-end serving a broader platform strategy, like Amazon is doing with Alexa on its Fire Tablets, and more expensive productivity tools closer to true computing and legitimate notebook replacement devices that should manage to keep average prices up,”

Here we can see the tablet decline rate in full:


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