Tablet shipments fell 11 percent in the fourth quarter 2015 and dropped a total of eight percent during the year to deliver the worst-ever year-over-year performance figures, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.
For the full year 2015, just 224.3 million tablets were shipped, with just 69.9 million of those shipped in the fourth quarter compared to 78.4 million shipments in the fourth quarter 2014.
Despite the dip, the report noted that 2-in-1 detachable tablets proved to be a bright spot, recording massive 379 percent growth year over year in 2015. Shipments of Windows tablets alone grew 59 percent year-over-year, the report said.
“2-in-1 Detachable Tablets have reached an inflection point in 2015 as computing needs continue to trend more and more mobile and Tablets with Windows 10 can compete against iOS in the premium and high price bands and equally well against Android in the mid and lower price bands,” said Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies senior analyst Eric Smith. “The Q4 2015 launch of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book was met with many “Surface clones” by Microsoft’s OEM partners at lower price points. This variety of devices will bolster momentum of Windows Tablets going forward.”
Due to its small base size, however, the growth of detachable tablets was not enough to make a difference in the overall tablet market, the report said.
Tablet vendor White Box led competitors with 29.4 percent of the market share, followed by Apple with just over 23 percent and Samsung with nearly 13 percent of the market share. Lenovo trailed with 5.7 percent, with Amazon and Asus close behind with 4.4 percent and 3.4 percent market share, respectively.
Though it maintained its second place market share, Apple in particular struggled to maintain its tablet shipments, dipping from 21.4 million units in the fourth quarter 2014 to 16.1 million units in the fourth quarter 2015.
“Apple suffered big setbacks this year as a lack of innovation during the last several years caught up to iPad sales,” said Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies research director Peter King. “The launch of the iPad Pro failed to meet expectations during the quarter. While we see real long-term potential for iPad Pro in the enterprise and verticals, there was not enough demand to move the needle in Q4.”