samsung tabletBranded tablet shipments posted a record-high 35 percent quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) decline in 2015’s first quarter (1Q’15). Year-over-year (YoY) they fell 16 percent, according to the latest tablet shipments’ market data from ABI Research.

The latest statistics from ABI’s Media Tablets, Ultrabooks and eReaders market data service remove whatever doubt may have existed that the branded tablet market is losing momentum, ABI states in a press release. That has raised pressure on branded tablet OEMs.

The tablet market needs another strong OEM to shore up its flagging fortunes, according to ABI. Apple and Samsung have and continue to dominate tablet manufacturing.

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“2015 is the pivotal year for smaller, competing vendors to step-up, build their business, and gain market share in advanced and emerging markets,” Senior Practice Director Jeff Orr was quoted as saying. “The tablet market lacks a truly competitive playing field needing a strong third even fourth vendor to drive the market out of stagnation.”

Acer, ASUS, and Lenovo are contenders in this regard. They have shown promise, but they need to focus on building their businesses, particularly in developing, emerging tablet markets.

Though the slowdown doesn’t portend an end to the tablet market it does reveal underlying issues and questions regarding tablets’ longevity and price, as well as competition in the market, according to ABI. “That initial growth the market experienced may never happen again for tablets, but they are still a strong force in the market,” Orr commented.

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