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Tablet Market Growth Halts in Q3 – Speed Bump or Sign of Things to Come?

by Eric Smith | 10月 29, 2021

Supply constraints and steep comparisons to the year-ago quarter faced off against strong Back-to-School demand and a tablet market gearing more and more towards productivity for hybrid work and more digitized classrooms. The result was a -10% drop in tablet shipments year-on-year, but market demand is still far stronger than it was pre-pandemic. As the COVID pandemic remains a key concern around the world, this tension between high demand and low component supply will test vendors and their channel partners as we enter the winter holiday season.

Exhibit: Apple Took Nearly 40% Tablet Market Share in Q3 2021*

Global tablet market share results for Q3 2021; Apple in lead at 38%, followed by Samsung at 17%, Lenovo at 9%, Amazon at 8%, and Huawei at 4%. TAM down -10% y/y
Source: Strategy Analytics
*All Figures are Rounded

With a portfolio stocked with highly capable productivity tablets, Apple’s strong growth came at the expense of other vendors competing for tight supplies. Vendors selling Windows Detachables like Lenovo, Dell, and HP showed healthy growth during the quarter as Microsoft was still working with an old portfolio of Surface devices. All of this plays to the larger trend of consumers continuing to work remotely (or at least in a hybrid schedule) and keep connected with digital learning platforms as the new school year began.

The China tablet market was hot in Q3 and vendor performance mirrored vendor access and brand perception in China. For example, Apple, Lenovo, Xiaomi, and Honor posted some of the strongest year-on-year growth rates while Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft experienced growth rates declining by double digits. As the pandemic disrupts life in different regions at different times, we expect supply to remain tight and demand to generally remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.

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