Global tablet shipments witness rise in 2020: IDC report

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Tablets saw a rise in shipments through 2020, especially in the year’s last quarter. According to a report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), tablet shipments in Q4 2020 saw a 19.5 percent year-on-year growth and totalled 52.2 million units globally. This was the highest level of shipments that tablets witnessed since Q4 2017 when total sales amounted to 49.9 million units.

The rise of tablet shipments across the world can be attributed to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, which forced a lot of people to stay indoors through most months of the year. This led to working and learning from home for a lot of people, who looked forward to buying new devices to achieve the same.

“Unprecedented demand in the consumer and education segments due to work from home and online learning has undoubtedly led to the resurgence in tablet demand,” said Anuroopa Nataraj, research analyst, IDC.

Detachable tablets also saw a higher presence in the market as productivity and flexibility of tech became important elements through the pandemic year. “Shipments for detachable tablets grew 27.9% during the quarter as both Microsoft and Apple helped push the form factor with their respective products,” mentioned the report.

“Additionally, backlogs for PCs led some consumers to purchase these detachable tablets in place of notebooks. Meanwhile, slate tablets also grew 13.7% during the quarter as consumers sought ways to stay entertained,” it added.

Tablet shipments were led by US-based Apple, which captured a 36.5 percent market share and 19.5 percent year-on-year growth in Q4 2020. The numbers were driven by the new iPad 10.2-inch and iPad Air 10.9-inch tablets.

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Korean tech giant Samsung retained second place with a market share of 19.4 percent and a 44.9 percent year-on-year growth. The report mentions that Samsung shipped 10.1 million tablets in Q4 2020 and 31.3 million units throughout the whole year, to remain the largest seller of Android slate tablets.

Meanwhile, Lenovo retained the third spot with 5.6 million shipments and 120.6 percent year-on-year growth in Q4 2020. Amazon retained fourth place with 3.6 million shipments and 7.6 percent year-on-year growth in the quarter. Huawei placed fifth with 3.3 million units shipped in Q4 2020 and a 25.7 percent year-on-year growth.