After telling everyone that tablets were to blame for declining PC sales, IDC famously claimed that tablets would overtake traditional PC sales by 2015. Now, it is really regretting believing the Tame Apple Press and supping on Steve Jobs’ Coolaid.
Today it has issued a report saying that there had been a 15.6 percent decline in tablet sales for 2016.
Shipments of tablets - defined to cover both dedicated tablet devices and convertibles like the Surface family of half-tablet half-laptop portables - flopped from 207.2 million in 2015 to 174.8 million in 2016. Traditional PC sales might have been miserable but they still sold 275.8 million in 2015 and 260.2 million in 2016.
It was the high-end tablets that suffered the most. Apple which started the whole thing off by stealing a Microsoft design which was not going anywhere and claiming it invented it saw its shipments drop 14.2 percent. Samsung saw a 20.5 percent decline over the same period. However cheap and cheerful tablets did rather well. Huawei's shipments jumped nearly 50 percent, though it still holds a minority 5.6 percent share of the overall market, while Amazon's Fire family of tablets shipped nearly double in 2016 compared with 2015 at a 98.8 percent growth rate.
Ryan Reith, programme vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers division said that the tablet market continues to grow stale and not even talk of the detachable segment doing well is helping.
Typical tablets without a dedicated keyboard, which IDC refers to as slate tablets, are continuing to lose relevancy across all regions.
“We do see future growth in some emerging markets like the Middle East & Africa as well as Central & Eastern Europe with the sole catalysts being simplicity and low cost. Unfortunately for the industry these are the devices that don't equate to large revenues.”
Still no apology for helping to lead the market astray by claiming that an Apple marketing fad change everything in the long term.