Tablet sales tanked in Q2, but Huawei and Apple buck the trend

Apple bolstered its significant lead in market share with solid iPad sales, but a lack of high-profile product launches hurt the whole market.

Worldwide tablet sales saw a significant decline in the second quarter of 2018, though Apple and Huawei managed to buck the trend and grow their shipments on a year-over-year basis.

According to IDC, the global tablet market fell 13.5 percent in Q2 2018, falling to 33 million. Strategy Analytics shows a similar trend but a less drastic decline: the research firm said the market fell 6 percent year-over-year to 40.9 million units.


Both IDC and Strategy Analytics attribute the worldwide slump in sales in part to a lack of innovation and high-profile product launches.

Unlike most vendors, Apple actually managed to grow its shipments for the quarter by about 1 percent year-over-year. This bolstered its significant lead in market share -- according to Strategy Analytics, it now has more than a quarter of the market, while IDC says it has about a third of the market.

As Apple noted in its quarterly earnings call earlier in the week, the company recorded double-digit iPad unit growth in both its Greater China and rest of Asia Pacific segments. Almost half of iPad purchases in the quarter were by customers new to iPad.

Huawei also managed to grow year-over-year shipments: Strategy Analytics says its shipments grew by 17 percent to 3.7 million units while IDC says its shipments grew by 7.7 percent to hit 3.4 million. The Chinese firm has around 9 or 10 percent market share.

Samsung managed to maintain its position as the No. 2 tablet vendor worldwide, even though it sold about a million fewer units in Q2 2018 compared to Q2 2017.

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