Shipments from nearly every major tablet maker are down as consumers and educators find other things to do with their money.
Distribution data collated by tech analyst Canalys shows 38.59 million units were shipped across retail and commercial channels in the first calendar quarter, down 3% year-over-year , albeit compared to a difficult comparison period when sales in the same period of 2021 exploded.
“Despite the drop in shipments in the first quarter, the resurgence of tablets remains strong,” said Himani Mukka, an analyst at the research firm. “The market has now recorded eight consecutive quarters of higher shipment numbers than in the fourth quarter of 2019, before the pandemic.”
Apple leads the pack, accounting for nearly four out of 10 tablets sold during the quarter. It found a home for 14.88 million units, down 2%. Samsung sold 7.86 million tablets, down 1.7%. Lenovo and Huawei recorded sales of 3 million and 1.67 million, down one-fifth and 21.7 percent respectively.
Amazon was the only one of the top five to enjoy a rebound in shipments, up nearly 6% to 3.568 million, thanks to deep discounts on its Fire products.
During the pandemic, the PC became indispensable as people used devices to work, learn, and entertain at home. The PC market reached over 340 million units in 2021, a peak not seen since around 2012. However, the buying frenzy is over.
Chromebook sales have slowed over the past three quarters as the United States, which accounts for up to four out of five sales worldwide, hit a saturation point in education. And with other considerations in mind, such as rising household bills caused by soaring inflation, consumers seem to be changing their financial orientation.
More modest tablet sales are evident, although Canalys believes that “increased commercial deployments are now helping to offset the slowdown in consumer demand that has followed the large increase in the tablet installed base over the past two years. “, said Mukka.
COVID-19 has disrupted the supply chain and increased logistics costs. Today, the war in Ukraine is making the situation worse, at least in terms of shipping, as air cargo from China is diverted from Russian airspace.
Mukka said, “The market will face greater supply pressure due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and COVID-related lockdowns in China. in the second quarter.”
As for the Chromebook, shipments plunged 59.7% in the first quarter to 4.898 million, according to Canalys. They peaked at nearly 12 million during the same period last year. ®