IDC: Large Screen Phones and Delayed Tablet Purchases Slow Tablet Market

IDC has reported Q1 shipment numbers for tablets worldwide and noted that, in its analysis, the rise of larger screen smartphones and a longer upgrade cycle by consumers for a new tablet contributed to a weaker than expected quarter.

First, here is the data that IDC published.

Source: IDC

There are some interesting things to note in this report, both for what was said and what was left unsaid. (Note that IDC lumps 2-in-1 tablets with regular tablets. Apple doesn't sell a 2-in-1.)

1. Tablet growth, worldwide, for the first calendar quarter is up only 3.9 percent year over year.

2. The companies with lowest historical shipments have tended to grow the most. Except for Amazon and Asus.

3. Amazon's tablet shipments were down 47 percent year over year. Amazon, despite its bold advertising claims, only sold a million tablets in Q1.

4. Apple remained the single largest shipper of tablets despite the kerfuffle over iPad shipments/sales after Apple's recent earnings report.

5. Samsung has grown its worldwide market share for the first quarter, but cumulative shipments to date were not reported.

6. Customers, according to IDC, are holding onto their tablets longer. This may represent a maturing of the contemporary tablet design and may be driving the relatively long period between new iPad releases and account for Apple's recent iPad sales plateau.

7. IDC doesn't typically report cumulative sales or total market share to date for all tablets. For example, Apple has sold 211 million iPads since the product launched.

Looking at year over year growth for the post holiday quarter is a somewhat narrow perspective on the tablet market as a whole, over time. The larger picture is not presented in this report.