Apple, Samsung lose ground in shrinking tablet market

A journalist takes a picture with a tablet device as actor Michael Fassbender signs autographs at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2015.
A journalist takes a picture with a tablet device as actor Michael Fassbender signs autographs at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2015.REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Tablet computer sales fell in the second quarter of 2015, with market leaders Apple and Samsung losing ground to other vendors, a survey showed Wednesday.

The survey by IDC said tablet sales fell in the April-June period, marking a third consecutive quarter of declining year-over-year sales.

Total tablet sales were 44.7 million units, down seven percent from a year earlier and 3.9 per cent from the prior quarter.

Apple remained the top vendor with 10.9 million iPads sold in the past quarter, for a market share of 24.5 per cent.

But iPad sales were down 17.7 per cent from a year earlier and Apple lost more than three points of market share.

Samsung was No. 2 with 7.6 million tablets sold, for a 17 per cent market share.

The South Korean giant saw unit sales down 12 per cent from a year earlier.

But the market saw modest growth from Lenovo, the No. 3 vendor, and explosive growth from China's Huawei and South Korea's LG, tied for fourth.

IDC said the tablet market is cooling after explosive growth following the introduction of the iPad in 2010.

"Longer life cycles, increased competition from other categories such as larger smartphones, combined with the fact that end users can install the latest operating systems on their older tablets has stifled the initial enthusiasm for these devices in the consumer market," said IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani.

"But with newer form factors (for PCs) and added productivity-enabling features... should be able to bring new vitality to a market that has lost its momentum."

Lenovo sold 2.5 million tablets for a 5.7 per cent market share, with unit sales growing 6.8 per cent.

Huawei doubled its sales from a year ago to 1.6 million units.

LG also sold 1.6 million units, a 246 per cent increase from the previous year, IDC said.

The top five vendors accounted to some 54 per cent of the global tablet market, according to the survey.