Before the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, the tablet PC market was consistently going down. However, as COVID-19 spread to different parts of the world, there was a significant increase in the demand for larger displays, tablets inclusive. According to IDC’s Global Tablet PC Quarterly Tracking Report, the market is doing well. In Q4 2020, the global tablet PC market recorded a year-on-year growth of 19.5%. The total shipment globally is approximately 52.2 million units. In China, Tablet PC shipment hit 6.14 million units in Q4 2020, a year-on-year increase of 5.6%.
The last time the tablet PC market hit a high was in 2017. In the fourth quarter of 2017, tablet PC shipment hit 49.9 million units globally. The tablet PC market is not very lucrative thus it is difficult for new players to gain ground.
The major players like Apple and Huawei do not have enough stocks of tablets. In fact, since last quarter, Apple and Huawei tablets have been largely out of stock. This is making it difficult to meet the strong demand of consumers. Although other manufacturers have enough stock, tablet buyers seem to be really skeptical.
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Last month, Canalys also released data on tablet shipments for the fourth quarter of 2020. According to Canalys statistics, global tablet shipments in the fourth quarter of 2020 were 52.8 million units. Apple rank first with 19.2 million units, Samsung ranks second with 9.9 million units while Amazon ranks third with 6.5 million units.
According to IDC, Apple and Huawei hold the key to the Chinese tablet smartphone market. However, companies like Lenovo and Microsoft are still doing well. Presently, Apple ranks first with a 39.8% market share while Huawei is second with a market share of 35.1%. Lenovo and Microsoft are third and fourth with market shares of 4.1% and 2.8% respectively. The third and fourth positions are a far cry from the top two.
Xiaomi will return to the Chinese tablet PC market
There will be more competition in the Chinese tablet PC market this year. Companies like Xiaomi that has not released any tablet PC since 2018 are coming back to the market. Xiaomi’s CEO, Lei Jun, announced yesterday that we should expect a new Xiaomi Tablet in the market this year.
A few days ago, there were questions if Xiaomi’s upcoming tablet will support a pen. Xiaomi’s official Weibo account replied, “In Arrangement”. This suggests that the upcoming Xiaomi Tablet (Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 tentatively) will support a stylus. Xiaomi has never released any tablet that supports a stylus.