IDC: Apple iPad maintains its lead as worldwide tablet market declines -7.0% YOY

The worldwide tablet market declined -7.0% year over year in the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15) with shipments totaling 44.7 million units according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Marked by little hardware innovation and limited vendor portfolio updates, the market also declined -3.9% compared to the first quarter of 2015.

“Beyond the decline, we’re seeing a profound shift in the vendor landscape as the top two vendors, Apple and Samsung, lose share in the overall market,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC Research Director for Tablets, in a statement. “In the first quarter of the year, Apple and Samsung accounted for 45% of the market and this quarter, with the growth of vendors like LG, Huawei, and E FUN, their combined share dropped to 41%. Each of the growing vendors managed to address available pockets of growth in the market; connected tablets for LG and Huawei, larger tablets and 2-in-1s in the right price bands for E FUN. This trend is also something we see on a wider scale with the top 5 vendors accounting for 54% of the market, down from 58% last quarter. It is worth mentioning that Huawei enters the top 5 ranking for the first time, while E FUN has re-entered the top 10 after more than a year, further indicating that the vendor landscape is indeed evolving.”

Despite a continued decline in shipments for its iPad product line, Apple maintained its lead in the worldwide tablet market, shipping 10.9 million units in the second quarter and 24.5% market share in 2Q15. Samsung held its number 2 position in the market with 7.6 million units shipped and 17.0% market share in 2Q15. Lenovo maintained its third position with 2.5 million units and 5.7% share of the market. LG and Huawei ended the quarter in a statistical tie for fourth place, rounding out the top 5 with each shipping 1.6 million devices. IDC declares a statistical tie in the worldwide tablet market when there is less than 0.1% difference in the market share (based on shipments) of two or more vendors.

“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 Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, in a statement. “But with newer form factors like 2-in-1s, and added productivity-enabling features like those highlighted in iOS9, vendors should be able to bring new vitality to a market that has lost its momentum.”

Top Five Worldwide Tablet Vendors – Preliminary Results for the Second Quarter of 2015 (Shipments in millions)
IDC: Top Five Worldwide Tablet Vendors - Preliminary Results for the Second Quarter of 2015 (Shipments in millions)

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, July 29, 2015

MacDailyNews Take: The #1 reason why iPad sales have been treading water is because Apple builds iPads so damn well. Apple iPads last for years and years. We’ve handed down gen-1 iPads to pre-schoolers, years ago, and they’re still working just fine! Thrown around, walked on, dripped on, you name it – the iPad just keeps on ticking. The upgrade cycle for iPads is simply not going to match the cycle for subsidized phones on two-year contracts.

With iOS 9 multitasking and new hardware, we foresee an iPad upgrade cycle of significance happening this holiday shopping season.


  1. My wife is works in pediatric healthcare and is still using her first-gen iPad as part of her therapy sessions. The kids she works with don’t notice that the processor or is slow or that the pixels are larger. Eventually it’ll need to be retired because too many apps won’t work, but for now it just keeps trucking along.

    1. Exactly. #2 reason iPad sales are slow is the incredible iPad longevity.

      But the #1 reason iPad sales are slow is Apple called one of its best selling tablets an iPhone 6+ instead of an iPad Nano.

      Imagine how many tablets Apple could have sold if they had just thought to use the right name? LOL

      Personally, I want a phone/tablet between the 6+ and Mini. A 6.5″ screen machine would still fit in my guys pockets. Come on Apple, fill in the obvious gap in the line up! 🙂 (4″, 4.7″, 5.5″, [GAP!], 7.9″, 9.7″)

      1. iPads have only been out for 5 years.

        The iPad 1 was practically obsolete 2 1/2 years later when iOS 6 was released and the iPad 1 could no longer run it.

        I think our opinions on incredibly long differ especially when a lot of people spent up to $800+ dollars for the devices.

  2. Oh, by the way… Hey, IDC… The market didn’t “decline -7%”. It declined 7%. It was also “down 7%”, “off 7%”, or “lost 7%”, but it didn’t decline -7%. Negative decline is incline, so technically they imply the market gained 7%.

  3. With the Microsoft Surface still being relegated to the “Other” category (which presumably means a marketshare of less than 3.6% according to the 2Q15 marketshare numbers), I don’t see how Microsoft can continue to throw money into the product, especially in light of the recent write off for the Nokia cell phone acquisition. I don’t understand why Microsoft shareholders have not been more vocal about the failure of the Surface product line.

  4. I’m ready for an iPad upgrade (iPad Pro here I come) this year and I think Apple will see a significant spike this year because of new iPads and upgrade cycles. To the surprise and astonishment of anal-cysts everywhere incapable of anything resembling educated & informed analyzing.

  5. We still have Generation 1 with GrandKids and 2 and 3 and even first iPad Air with our kids …. We have latest iPad Air and love them but anyways what I am seeing is less use of the iPad as the iPhone sizes increase I see my partner how has the Six Plus – At one time he had his iPad with him every time he came into office – Now he leaves in the car …..

    Myself I have an iPhone 6 but also have use of a Six Plus so what I am doing is taking pics and movies on the six plus and show to our customers – as I did this AM ….. Before I would take on my Five Plus and transfer to iPad to show customers but now I still do, just not as often, especially if it is in progress pics and I come down off the roof and immediately show customer – they are pretty impressed, especially if I ran thru iMovie and do a little editing – which is easy to do on the Six Plus …..

    Anyways I am using an iPad to surf the web and type this one!

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