Until 2020, many had been thinking about the tablet industry as a good part of our past. But the COVID-19 changed everything and resurrected many niches that had been considered to be dead. As a result, in the fourth quarter of 2020, this field hit a record high. We understand the reason why tablets could become everyone’s favorite device – lockdowns made many people study and work at home. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is backing down. So it’s reasonable to see sales slowing down. At least, the latest report from IDC proves this.
“Though 2021 was a great year for the tablet market, shipments have begun to decelerate as the market has moved past peak demand across many geographies,” said Anuroopa Nataraj, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. “However, shipments in the near future will remain above pre-pandemic levels as virtual learning, remote work, and media consumption remain priorities for users.”
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Well, the overall picture still looks good. The tablet market grew 3.2%. It reached total shipments of 168.8 million. Since 2016, this is the biggest number. However, when looking at the numbers for the fourth quarter of 2021, we can see that the demand is weakening.
Tablet Shipments In 2021
For instance, in the last quarter of the past year, the tablet shipments were down to 46 million units. What’s more alarming, all manufacturers in the Top 5 showed negative year-over-year growth. Well, only Amazon had a growth rate of 1.3%.
“Much of the initial demand for Chromebooks has been satiated in primary markets like the U.S. and Europe and this has led to a slowdown in overall shipments. However, Chromebook demand in emerging markets has seen continued growth in the past year,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. “Supply has also been unusually tight for Chromebooks as component shortages have led vendors to prioritize Windows machines due to their higher price tags, further suppressing Chromebook shipments on a global scale.”
The worst situation can be seen at Samsung and Lenovo. Huawei got a few lumps of its own as well. However, the Cupertino-based Apple is still the biggest player.
When it comes to Chromebook, its shipments dropped a lot. They were down 63.6% in Q4. But thanks to a good performance in the first three quarters of 2021, the total sales are up 13.5%. Chromebooks shipped 37 million units in comparison to 32.6 million last year and around 15 million in 2019.