Tablet and Chromebook market dips in Q1

As the world adjusts to a new normal, so too has the tablet and Chromebook market. According to IDC, worldwide tablet shipments reached 38.4 million units in Q1, a drop of 3.9 percent over the same period last year.

Shipments are still above pre-pandemic levels though growth has softened. Aggressive purchasing of devices in 2020 and 2021 led many users to hold on to their recently purchased tablets.

Chromebooks also continued to decline with shipments down 61.9 percent.

While the overall market contracted due to saturation in mature markets, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) still recorded growth in the quarter due to several large investments for digital education.

“While the tablet market is certainly on a downward trend at the global level because of lower demand in mature markets, it is interesting to see several new players entering the emerging markets, especially smartphone vendors like realme, OPPO, Xiaomi, and so on,” said Anuroopa Nataraj, Senior Research Analyst of IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.

“While their volumes are not significant enough to move the market as of now, it is the high demand for tablets in the emerging markets since the onset of the pandemic that has led these vendors to take advantage of their existing channel presence to build an ecosystem where consumers possess multiple products of the same brand, just like Apple,” she added.

“The decline in Chromebooks doesn’t come as a surprise given the buildup of inventory due to reduced demand over the past several quarters. Barring any major shifts in supply, we do anticipate the inventory to clear out with the help of promotional activity over the course of the coming months and new shipments will start to pick up as the educational buying cycle begins to ramp up again,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Manager of IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.

In terms of market share, Apple continued to lead with 31.5 percent in the tablet market, followed by Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo, and Huawei.

When it comes to Chromebooks, the drop was more pronounced. HP slid from first in Q1/21 to fourth with a 82.2 percent drop. Lenovo led the pack followed by Dell and Acer. Lenovo came in fifth.