Tablet shipments drop again amid shrinking market demand: IDC

Global tablet shipments totaled 44.7 million units in Q2 compared to 48 million during the same period the year prior. Shipments slipped nearly 4 percent compared to just last quarter.

Marked by little hardware innovation and limited vendor upgrades, the tablet market declined seven percent year-over-year during the second quarter, according to new data from IDC.

Global tablet shipments totaled 44.7 million units in Q2 compared to 48 million during the same period the year prior. Shipments slipped nearly 4 percent compared to just last quarter.

Not even industry stalwarts are safe from the effects of shrinking market demand. Apple saw its shipments tablets, including the larger-screen iPad and the iPad Mini, drop 26 percent to 10.9 million compared to the second quarter of 2013.

Samsung maintained its No. 2 position with 7.6 million units shipped and 17 percent market share. Lenovo also held on to its spot at No. 3, shipping 2.5 million units at 5.7 percent market share.

LG and Huawei ended the quarter in a statistical tie for fourth place, rounding out the top five with each shipping 1.6 million devices. Here's a complete look at the standings:

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"Longer life cycles, increased competition from other categories such as larger smartphones, combined with the fact that end users can install the latest operating systems on their older tablets has stifled the initial enthusiasm for these devices in the consumer market," said Jistesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, in a statement.

Research director of tablets at IDC Jean Philippe Bouchard noted the fact that smaller vendors have managed to best the big guys at addressing available pockets of demand in the market.

But Ubrani insists there's still a chance the tablet market could recover for vendors of all sizes -- as long as new features are being developed. However, IDC's data highlights how 2-in-1 devices and detachables represent a small portion of the tablet market, but one with growth.

"With newer form factors like 2-in-1s, and added productivity-enabling features like those highlighted in iOS9, vendors should be able to bring new vitality to a market that has lost its momentum," he said.

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