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Global tablet market returns to growth says analyst

Global tablet market returns to growth says analyst

Worldwide tablet shipments increased modestly by 1% in the first quarter of 2024, reaching 33.7 million units, says analyst house Canalys. The annual quarterly growth follows four consecutive quarters of year-on-year declines, and is thanks to a “revival” in consumer spending and the “stabilisation” of global economies, Canalys said.

“The tablet industry has had a positive start to 2024, and the rest of the year should bring further relief after a difficult 2023,” said Canalys research manager Himani Mukka. “Despite the extended period of cautious consumer spending on tablets, vendors have remained ambitious. New market entrants have kept investing in the category while the traditional heavyweights are delivering on innovation to excite customers and drive new use cases.”

Mukka added: “Of particular note is Apple’s anticipated move to incorporate OLED screens in the iPad Pros, signalling a significant landmark in display technology preference across the top vendors’ tablet portfolios.

“Additionally, 2024 is set to bring about a rise in new tablet form factors and functionality, with manufacturers focusing on both foldable designs and eye-wear-free 3D content viewing. The tablet market is on track to stabilise above pre-pandemic levels, supported by a gradual recovery trajectory.”

The realisation of postponed commercial and government deployments from last year, and the rapid expansion of 5G infrastructure in untapped markets will also bolster refresh demand for tablets, Canalys adds.

Apple stayed at the top of the worldwide tablet market in Q1 2024, with 12m iPads shipped, giving it a 36% market share. Samsung grew by a modest 1% to hold second place with 6.8m units shipped.

Huawei kept third place for a successive quarter, shipping 2.7m units, with strong annual growth of 70% when compared to the first quarter last year, propelled mainly by demand in its home market of China and across the Asia Pacific region. Lenovo and Amazon took fourth and fifth place, respectively, both shipping over 2m tablets.