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Samsung’s tablet shipments down by 6.4 percent in 2017

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Last updated: August 3rd, 2018 at 15:59 UTC+02:00

Many reports have emerged in the second half of 2017 pointing to a decline in Samsung’s dominance over the mobile and the tablet market. Most of these reports from market research agencies have been consistently pointing towards Samsung’s weakness in the budget market.

IDC report for Q4 2017 tablet shipments is the latest to join the list. According to the data, Samsung’s tablet shipments dropped from 8 million units in Q4 2016 to 7 million units in Q4 2017, resulting in a decline of 13% year-on-year for the last quarter. Samsung’s market share dropped from 14.9% in Q4 2016 to 14.1% in Q4 2017. Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets registered an impressive growth of 50.3% year-on-year for the quarter. Owing to this performance, Amazon dislodged Samsung to become the second largest tablet vendor in Q4 2017 with a 15.6% market share. Apple held on the top position with 26.6% market share in Q4 2017.

Unlike Samsung whose business model is to sell devices at a profit, Amazon sells tablets at cost price or less as a gateway to Amazon’s services. It also slashed prices for products like the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 during Black Friday. It’s clear that Samsung and Amazon have different business models, but still, Samsung’s budget offerings haven’t been particularly impressive.

Even the IDC report specifically mentions the failure of Samsung’s low-cost A and E series tablets to compete against the value for money offerings by the rivals. The only positive for Samsung in the IDC’s report is that its detachable tablet portfolio continues to do well. These are the Samsung’s 2-in1 hybrid tablets running Windows, such as the Galaxy Book.

Samsung is the only top 3 vendor to register a decline in shipments

While not as bad as Q4 2017, Samsung’s tablet shipments for the entire year also dropped by 6.4% compared to 2016. Samsung sold a total of 24.9 million tablets in 2017, down from 26.6 million units in the previous year. However, Samsung retained the second spot in tablet shipments for the entire year with a market share of 15.2%. Samsung is the only top 3 vendor to register a decline in shipments and market share. Tablet market itself declined by 7.9% in the last quarter and 6.5% for the entire year.

This report comes in the backdrop of other setbacks Samsung faced recently. The company lost the top spot both in the feature phone market and smartphone market in India in Q4 2017, though it was quick to dispute the latter. Samsung’s smartphone market share in China also dropped below 2% last quarter.

Samsung’s own quarterly results confirmed troubles for its mobile division. The company really needs to step up and aggressively compete in the tablet market.

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