August 7, 2023: Worldwide shipment of tablets dropped 11% annually in the second quarter of 2023, down to 31.0 million units, finds a Canalys study. This represents a sequential decline from Q1 and signifies the lowest volume of global tablet shipments since Q1 2020.
Meanwhile, Chromebooks enjoyed a decent quarter, with shipments up 1% annually to 5.9 million units, boosted by the return of education demand, with the back-to-school season in North America proving particularly fruitful.
The decline of the tablet market in Q2 2023 represents a small improvement over the 13% year-on-year drop experienced in the first quarter of the year. Apple strengthened its position as the leading tablet vendor, shipping 12.3 million units, which accounted for nearly two-fifths of the total global tablet market. Despite a 14% annual decline in shipments, Samsung secured the second position, shipping 6.0 million tablets. Third-placed Amazon and fourth-placed Lenovo posted the largest declines among the major tablet vendors, with shipments down 33% and 39% respectively. Huawei took fifth spot in the rankings, with 1.7 million units of shipments.
“Although demand for tablets has dropped from the highs of the pandemic, it remains relatively resilient,” said Himani Mukka, Research Manager at Canalys. “With the PC and smartphone markets also under threat, vendors selling tablets have an additional tool to help target pockets of opportunity in consumer, commercial and education sectors. The market will receive a boost from seasonally stronger demand in the second half of the year, with vendors continuing to launch new products, adopt aggressive go-to-market strategies and drive promotional activity. However, on the commercial front, it appears that the productivity gap between tablets and PCs is set to widen. With Intel and AMD setting roadmaps for the development of ‘AI PCs’, the future ability for tablets to serve as notebook replacements could be diminished as AI functionality becomes increasingly important to worker productivity.”
The global Chromebook market experienced minor growth in Q2 2023 after seven consecutive quarters of decline. HP secured the top spot as the leading Chromebook vendor, gaining over 10% market share as shipments grew 69% from last year. Lenovo held onto second place as its Chromebook shipments grew 15%, while third-placed Dell underwent a 15% decline, with both vendors shipping around 1.3 million units. Acer and Asus ranked fourth and fifth respectively, both losing market share compared to a year ago.
“Chromebooks’ return to growth was heavily driven by a strong demand in the education sector in the US,” said Kieren Jessop, Research Analyst at Canalys. “The US accounted for 81% of global Chromebook shipments in Q2 2023, well above its average share since the start of the pandemic. Ahead of the upcoming school year, US institutions filed applications before the 13 May 2023 deadline for the government’s third round of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF).” The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports that the latest round of funding supported the rollout of 5.1 million connected devices, with total commitments to date reaching nearly 13 million connected devices. “However, the use of taxpayer money for Chromebooks has recently come under scrutiny, with the US Public Interest Research Group Education Fund publishing a critical report about the lifespan of devices. Barring further federal funding, schools holding onto older Chromebooks could face disruptions from usability and experience issues,” added Jessop.
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