India and China Major Tablet Markets Amid Global Decline of 11%

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India and China emerged as major markets contributing to tablet adoption, mitigating the downturn experienced in other regions.

Global tablet shipments saw a decline of 11% year-on-year (YoY) in the fourth quarter of 2023, with a total of 37.8 million units shipped. This resulted in an annual total of 135.3 million tablets for 2023, a 10% decrease compared to the previous year. 

Despite increased tablet promotions and bundled offers during the latest holiday season, the market’s downward trend persisted. Efforts to reduce high tablet inventories through aggressive promotions were observed globally, including tactics like bundling older tablet models with new smartphones in the Asia Pacific region.

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India And China emerged as major markets contributing to tablet adoption, mitigating the downturn experienced in other regions. In the fourth quarter of 2023, the performance of Chinese tablet vendors stood out, with Huawei experiencing a remarkable 95% growth in shipments, ascending to third place in the market rankings. 

Apple remained the market leader despite a 24% year-on-year decline, with 14.8 million iPads shipped. Samsung held the second position, with 6.8 million units shipped, marking an 11% decrease from the previous year. Lenovo saw a healthy shipment growth of 15%, moving to fourth place and gaining more than 2 points in market share year-on-year. Amazon completed the top five, experiencing a 44% decline with 2 million tablets shipped globally.

tablet shipment, market and revenue

Innovation gap between tablets and other personal computing devices is an area of concern for tablet vendors. The lag in on-device AI integration in tablets, compared to PCs and smartphones, is seen as a key challenge. Vendors are encouraged to focus on delivering a unified and seamless ecosystem experience across devices.

This year is expected to witness a greater emphasis on foldable tablet form factors. Despite the likely limited shipment volumes due to their premium pricing, these models offer vendors an opportunity to demonstrate the advantages of foldable designs for content consumption, learning, and productivity.

Expectations are set for a market rebound in 2024, driven by healthier inventory levels, potential government and commercial deployments, and the introduction of new tablet models by TCL and Lenovo at CES 2024, alongside anticipated updates to Apple’s iPad line.

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