Tablet Sales Diminish for Apple and Samsung Alike

Apple’s iPad sales fell 23% in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year, according to new figures from ABI Research. It’s the second consecutive quarter where the tech company’s tablet sales have shrunk.

While ABI found Samsung managed 7% tablet growth over the course of 2014, its first-quarter 2015 sales are likewise down—in Samsung’s case, by 30% year over year.

These new figures further reinforce what’s widely known about tablets in general: They’re ceding ground to other devices, not least of all smartphones.

As analyst and author of Mobile Strategies for Digital Publishing memorably put it earlier this year, “Tablets are accessories.”

[Press Release]

Apple Loses Tablet Share for Second Successive Quarter as Market Stagnates

OYSTER BAY, N.Y. – May 19, 2015

​For the second quarter in a row, Apple lost a substantial share of the tablet market as shipments declined and growth of the overall market remained stagnant, according to ABI Research. For 4Q 2014, Apple managed to ship 21.42 million iPads, causing the company to experience an 18% year-over-year (YoY) decline. In its most recent quarter, the results for 1Q 2015 depicted the company only shipping 12.62 million iPads, resulting in a 23% YoY decline.

Apple is not the only company to report declining shipments. Samsung also reported a YoY decline of 30% for 1Q 2015. In total, overall market shipments of OEM branded tablets experienced a YoY decline of 13%. “There is no denying the market is losing its momentum,” says Research Analyst Stephanie Van Vactor. “The market is in the process of going through a transition as developed markets shift to a refresh / replacement cycle. In addition, vendors are feeling the squeeze due to new devices gaining traction in the market that are in direct competition with tablets, for example, 2-in-1s, phablets, and Chromebooks.”

Despite the apparent slowdown of the tablet market, there are still markets and technology innovations waiting to be explored for this form-factor. “Tablets remain popular in mature market economies and business adoption has yet to take hold,” adds Senior Practice Director Jeff Orr. “Continuing growth in phablets and ultraportable PCs demonstrates that the tablet form-factor is a convenience and not a necessity.” Over the next year, ABI Research predicts growth to remain flat to slightly negative for branded tablets.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Media Tablets, Ultrabooks and eReaders Market Research.

ABI Research provides technology market research and technology intelligence for industry innovators. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit, or call +1.516.624.2500.

3 thoughts on “Tablet Sales Diminish for Apple and Samsung Alike

  1. Michael W. Perry

    Why should most of those who have tablet buy a new one? Innovation in that market moves at a glacial pace. Each new set of models offers only slight improvements. For Apple, there’s been nothing new of importance since Retina displays. And it’s not that ideas don’t exist. Apple could:

    1. Add GPS to all models. Location awareness is great. Why stick people with spending $130 for a cellular upgrade to get it? Laptops would also benefit from GPS.

    2. Better connectivity/more ports. Tablets should be as versatile at laptops at dealing with external devices.

    3. Ruggedize stock models. Don’t force users to by large, clumsy external cases to protect them. Sell sports models like for the Apple Watch.

    4. Aim for more markets. Create inexpensive, rugged models especially for kids. Design on for seniors who want the benefits of the Internet, like pictures of grandkids, without all the hassle of learning technology.

    Tablet makers seem to have exhausted all their imagination in their first few models. They need to get moving again. It’s not surprising that few are buying. They have nothing new to sell.

  2. TJP

    Tablets — especially those from Apple — are powerful and durable, not disposable junk. Is that bad? Android sales are greater because those tablets are less powerful and less durable resulting in a much shorter useful life. It would be more useful to report on the numbers in use, not quarter to quarter sales. What we should care about is the size of the market for publishers. I really do not care how much money these hardware manufacturers are making.

    1. Alwyn

      Sony tablets are light, fast, waterproof and dust proof. Now that is we call durable.

      Apple tabs are pretty to look at but no good outside or anywhere there is water, pool, bath, beach.



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