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Global tablet shipments return to growth in 2020: IDC

Apple once again led the tablet market with 36.5% market share Apple once again led the tablet market with 36.5% market share
Apple once again led the tablet market with 36.5% market share (Unsplash)

The demand in consumer and education segments drive the sale of tablets.

The global tablet market registered a remarkable fourth quarter (Q4 2020) with 19.5% year-over-year growth, according to the preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. The report said that 52.2 million units of tablets were shipped in the said quarter.

“Unprecedented demand in the consumer and education segments due to work from home and online learning has undoubtedly led to the resurgence in tablet demand," said Anuroopa Nataraj, research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. "However, the category is not expected to retain this momentum in the long term as it still faces immense competition from notebooks and smartphones."

Apple led the tablet market
Apple led the tablet market (IDC)

IDC noted that the high tablet shipment registered in the fourth quarter was not seen since the fourth quarter of 2017 when shipments hit 49.9 million. The research firm also pointed out the popularity of detachable tablets, which saw shipment growth of 27.9% during the quarter. Microsoft and Apple were the main drivers in the detachable tablet space.

“Additionally, backlogs for PCs led some consumers to purchase these detachable tablets in place of notebooks. Meanwhile, slate tablets also grew 13.7% during the quarter as consumers sought ways to stay entertained,” said the research firm.

According to the IDC data, Apple led the tablet market with a 36.5% market share and year-over-year growth of 19.5% during 4Q20. The company benefited from new iPad 10.2-inch and iPad Air 10.9-inch tablets launched in the previous quarter as the devices saw a surge in demand during the holiday quarter.

Detachable tablets grow in popularity
Detachable tablets grow in popularity (IDC)

Samsung ranked second with 19.4% market share and 44.9% year-over-year growth. The company shipped 10.1 million units in the fourth quarter, while overall annual shipment hit 31.2 million units.

Lenovo grabbed the third spot with 5.6 million units shipment and 120.6% year-over-year growth.

“Slates accounted for the majority of Lenovo's tablet sales; however, their detachable portfolio has shown some momentum with the recently launched Chromebook Duet producing a gain of nearly 2.5 percentage points for detachable tablets. Western Europe and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) remain the largest markets for Lenovo’s tablet business,” added the report.

Amazon and Huawei captured fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

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