In the fourth quarter of 2014 we see an unusual trend for the technology industry. In that quarter we see a drop in the sales of tablets globally. It is the first ever year-on-year drop for the sales of this type of device and it dipped 3.2 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. In total manufacturers shipped out about 76.1 million tablets worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2014 and in total of 229.6 million tablets for the whole year of 2014. The total sales though does make up for the dip as it shows a 4.4 percent increase compared to 2013. That is also thanks to the strong sales in the first three quarters of the year 2014.
The stats for each of the big players are not too rosy either as Samsung and Apple posted a dip of 18.4 percent and 17.8 percent respectively in sales. Despite the dip though Apple still holds the throne as king of tablets shipping over 21 million units worldwide while Samsung trails at 11 million units. Many did point out though that the dip from the bigger manufacturers could be caused by the surge of lower-cost tablets showing the bigger players that tablets does not have to be expensive to work. Now from this report they did say that they are expecting to see an improvement in the 2015 market.
It does not look too good however as we are approaching the end of the first quarter of 2015. Already there are plenty of suggestions by experts that the sales of tablets will continue to decline. The numbers speak for itself; so far there has been a 30 percent decline in shipments from tablet makers this quarter itself. They expect that shipments numbers will fall to an alarming 52.15 million units by the end of this quarter, even lower than last year’s fourth quarter. Apple is also expected to take the biggest hit in this drop of sales, by the end of the quarter they are expected to ship 13.1 million units of tablet which is about a drop of 40 percent from last year’s fourth quarter.
Through looking at this it would be a smart thing if manufacturers turn away from the tablet market. Samsung is doing mostly that by paying more attention to their current smartphone business. They are not totally out of the tablet market though with their current offerings still going out and a few more mid-range and low-end tablets to debut soon. Apple, as a key player will look to resuscitate the tablet market with probable new tablets with new sizes or other features. While Microsoft has not be particularly too successful with their tablets as shipments are still way limited they might look to change that with their announcement and release of Windows 10.
We at techENT do not think that tablets are not a thing of the past. In fact we think they are really cool with some real potential in certain markets and certain applications. In fact we are some strong supporters of these devices. Of course as our smartphones get bigger and bigger, it might eliminate some of our dependence on the tablet devices but we do think that we still need them or we can use them in some other form. For example their bigger screen would prove to be a preferable platform for reading and also video viewing. Of course there are plenty of other applications of a tablet but that is for another article. For now though we are hoping that manufacturers like Samsung will not totally drop out of the tablet market despite the discouraging conditions.