A new IDC report published this morning states that the worldwide tablet market continued its slump as vendors shipped 43 million units in the third quarter of 2016, a year-over-year decline of 14.7%. The report noted that Apple's iPad Pro, the iPad Air and Mini lines have been the models with mass appeal, accounting for more than two-thirds of its shipments this quarter. Although Apple's tablet shipments declined 6.2% year over year, total iPad-related revenues were flat for the quarter, thanks to the iPad Pro offering. For Q3 2016 Apple remained the top Tablet Vendor worldwide holding 21.5%. Samsung was in second place with 15.1%, Huawei was in fifth spot with 5.6% and Microsoft with all of their bravado of having the best tablets in the world couldn't even crack the top five vendors. And remember, according to IDC back in August, Microsoft's Surface tablets will catch up to Apple's iPad by 2020. So Microsoft better get into high gear because at the moment they're nowhere to be found on the top worldwide list.
In May of this year, J.D. Power's 2016 U.S. tablet satisfaction study Apple was number one with Microsoft being a close second. I repeat, a close second. But last week, during Microsoft's Surface PC event, without any proof provided, Microsoft's Corporate VP for Surface, Panos Panay, stated the following:
"I could throw a lot of data at you, but just let me simplify. Surface Book today has the highest customer satisfaction among any current Windows 10 machine out there or any MacBook, all of them. Way best."
Surface Book is a tablet, and more specifically a hybrid, and in that category every Surface device including the Surface Book was second to Apple's iPad Pro. This wasn't a hybrid vs. pure notebook customer satisfaction award it was the best tablet/hybrid. Panos tried to just wish his product to victory over Apple's product in a new category no one ever heard of.
IDC further noted that "Low-Cost Detachables and Slates in the Lead as Tablet Market Slump Persists in the Third Quarter." More specifically low-cost detachables are sub-$200 devices. This low-cost detachable tactic by Apple's competitors will eventually overtake Apple in the standings and if IDC was honest they would separate these devices accordingly because Apple doesn't make sub-$200 tablets and likely never will.
During Apple's financial conference call last week, Apple's CFO stated that For the September quarter, Apple had 82% market share in tablets over $200. So where oh where did Microsoft fit into the remaining 16% when they couldn't even get into the top 5 tablet vendors worldwide? That statistic alone makes Panos Panay look like a dreamer in La-La-Land. Every Surface device is over $200 and Apple owned 82% of the market. So where oh where are these statistics to say that customer satisfaction is higher for Surface?
The crazy stat from IDC for Q3 was Amazon having
year-over-year growth of 319% yet only sold 3.1 million tablets – and these were at what …. $50? Even with almost giving them away Amazon couldn't compete with Apple's iPad. I mean, who wants more electric junk around the house collecting dust, right?
According to a mid-2016 Bloomberg report, "Apple may roll out the new iPad software features as part of an upgrade to the iOS 10 operating system in the first half of 2017, or save the enhancements for the next major iOS version later in the year.
Pencil, a handwriting and drawing stylus aimed at professionals, according to one of the people. Apple has considered allowing users to annotate objects in many applications across the whole operating system, including in Mail, the Safari web browser, and iMessage, similar to what Samsung Electronics Co. offers on its Note smartphones, the person said. Currently, Apple only supports Pencil functionality in specifically developed apps.
The new iPad hardware will include faster display technology that allows for smoother zooming, panning and scrolling, one of the people said. Apple isn't planning to update its iPad lineup until next year, when a new version of the iPad Pro will be released with a 10.5-inch display, up from the current 9.7-inch display."
At the end of the day the iPad continues to dominate the tablet market worldwide, owns 82% of the tablet market above $200 and is planning for some great updates in the first half of 2017 to keep their winning streak alive.