Chromebook shipments, in particular, declined dramatically, down 51% year-over-year
Google is finally starting to show some love for tablets and other big-screen devices. After neglecting tablets for years, Android 12L has invested in tablet-centric UI changes, perhaps the first since Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. And with that, Google also indicated that tablets were an essential pillar of Android’s long-term strategy, and was committed to better supporting them – we’ve got a Pixel tablet to look forward to. Hopefully this kind of renewed interest breathes a little life into the form factor, as the latest tablet shipment numbers are in, and they show that Android tablets are (still) struggling.
ANDROIDpolice video of the day
Android tablets have a few things going right now, according to newly released data from IDC and Strategy Analytics. IDC’s data shows that the tablet market globally has grown by 0.15% during the past year, yet major players such as Apple, Samsung, Lenovo and Huawei have seen their shipments drop significantly. Instead, the meager profit is mostly driven by Amazon, which saw a 26.92% increase in shipments year-on-year, along with smaller players like Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo, all of which performed beyond expectation.
Meanwhile, if things look rough for tablets, Chromebooks are seeing a far more significant drop. All the major Chromebook vendors saw significant reductions in year-over-year shipments, including a massive 78.6% drop from HP. Overall, Chromebook shipments decreased by 51.4% overall. To put those numbers into perspective, while a total of 12.3 million Chromebooks were shipped in Q2 2021, Q2 2022 saw just 6 million.
Does this mean that no one wants to buy an Android tablet or Chromebook anymore? Are they just less attractive appliance categories these days? Not necessarily, and we also have to bear in mind that economies around the world are struggling, and geopolitical events are complicating the situation even more.
Meanwhile, a separate report from Strategy Analytics shows that Android’s grip on the tablet market has dropped below 50% for the first time in 10 years (though so far only falling to 49%). It’s important to note that the analysts who prepared this report came up with some very different numbers than those generated by IDC, showing a decrease in Amazon’s shipments rather than actually an increase.
Still, both reports share an overall trend – with the rest of the market declining in demand for Android tablets. While Apple saw overall iPad shipments decrease, it did manage to increase market share, climbing 3.3% to 38%.
It’s too early to say whether doubling will pay off on Android tablets. As Google and other OEMs consolidate efforts to build the experience of using Android tablets Really good Again, and as the global economy recovers, we are expecting these numbers to improve. Similarly, while Chromebooks are looking dire right now, the numbers could rise as schools ramp up efforts to provide PCs to students.