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Apple iPad shipments down 3 million year-on-year

Samsung and Lenovo experience big gains in the tablet market, says IDC

Tablets

Despite holding on to its market-leading position, Apple tablet shipments have started to slow down and overall Android is the dominant OS, according to IDC.

Apple shipped 16.4 million iPads, down 16.1 per cent year-on-year, when the firm shipped 19.5 million units.

Shipments were also down by 10 million over the previous quarter, when Apple sold 26 million units, but this was the busy Christmas period.

Samsung remains a strong challenger, having shipped 11.2 million tablets in Q1. This was up 32 per cent on Q1 2013, when the South Korean vendor managed to sell 8.5 million units.

However, Chinese hardware vendor Lenovo experienced the biggest shipment growth (224.3 per cent) between Q1 2013 and this year, having shipped 2.1 million tablets.

Overall, Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst for IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, said despite Apple being in pole position with its iOS devices Android remains the dominant OS.

"With roughly two-thirds share, Android continues to dominate the market," he said.

"Although its share of the market remains small, Windows devices continue to gain traction thanks to sleeper hits like the Asus T100, whose low cost and 2-in-1 form factor appeal to those looking for something that's good enough'."

The tablet market is in for a tough year, with IDC data confirming that first quarter shipments were way down across the globe.

According to the latest version of the analyst house's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, Q1 saw a marked slowdown in shipments for devices regardless of the operating system used and their screen size.

As a result, IDC said the signs suggest 2014 could turn out to be "an even more challenging year ahead" for the tablet market.

The number of devices shipped was up 3.9 per cent on last year, with 50.4 million tablets shifted during the first three months of 2014.

Tom Mainelli, IDC programme vice president of devices and displays, said lengthy tablet refresh cycles were partly to blame for the slowdown.

"The rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever longer periods of time were both contributing factors to a weaker-than-anticipated quarter for tablets and 2-in-1s," he said.

"In addition, commercial growth has not been robust enough to offset the slowing of consumer shipments."

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