According to the new report by International Data Corporation (IDC), despite notable product launches like the new lower priced iPad and products from other top-tier vendors, worldwide shipments for tablets declined 3.4 percent year over year in 2Q17, reaching 37.9 million.
"There's been a resetting of expectations for detachable as competing convertible notebooks offered a convincing and familiar computing experience for many," said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers.
Ubrani said, "To date, the 2-in-1 market was bifurcated as Apple and Microsoft led with detachable while the PC vendors led with convertibles. Though that is slowly changing as smartphone vendors and traditional PC vendors begin to offer compelling alternatives, the pace has been rather slow as Surface and iPad Pro still dominate shelf space and mindshare."
The report said that, Apple positioned itself quite well during the quarter by consolidating its lineup and introducing two new iPads and new iPad's relatively low price point triggered some consumers to upgrade their aging devices and demand for this new tablet finally caused a turnaround for Apple's iPad business.
Samsung was able to gain share simply by sustaining flat growth in this declining market and the company appears to be the third major contender in detachable, after Apple and Microsoft, and in typical Samsung, fashion offers multiple detachable tablets with a choice of either Windows or Android, Huawei's
The report further pointed out that, with plenty of low-cost and cellular-enabled options, Huawei has been able to slowly steal share from rivals like Lenovo.
However, the company has been fairly cautious of the detachable market and recent products have had very limited launches, while Amazon also managed to update its lineup, offering new tablets at a better price and expanding its Alexa service to the UK and despite the annual decline, Lenovo has managed to slowly increase the share of detachable tablets within its product portfolio, which tend to have a higher average selling prices (ASPs).
The tablet market has essentially become a race to see if the burgeoning detachable category can grow fast enough to offset the long-term erosion of the slate market," said Linn Huang, research director, Devices & Displays at IDC.
Huang said "From that lens, the second quarter was a slight righting of the ship and there is still much to be hopeful about in the back half of 2017. New product launches from Microsoft and Apple are generally accompanied by subsequent quarters of inflated shipments, the reintroduction of Windows to the ARM platform could help remedy the aforementioned hollowing of the middle of the market, and we expect a proliferation of Chrome OS-based detachable in time for the holidays."