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IDC finds 3.9% decline in worldwide tablet shipments

By Zach Thompson
Mon 2 May 2022

Preliminary data from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker has found tablet shipments reached 38.4 million units during Q1 2022, a year-over-year decline of 3.9%.

IDC notes that while shipments are still above where they were before the pandemic, growth has softened, which it says indicates the market is reverting to normal seasonality.

Furthermore, 2020 and 2021 saw aggressive purchasing of devices, resulting in many users continuing to use what they currently have rather than buying anything new.

IDC also acknowledges that Asia Pacific (apart from Japan and China) continued to record growth in the quarter even though the market had contracted due to the saturation of mature markets. It says this is due to various significant investments in digital education in the region.

"While the tablet market is certainly on a downward trend at the global level because of lower demand in mature markets, it is interesting to see several new players entering the emerging markets, especially smartphone vendors like realme, OPPO, Xiaomi, and so on," IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers senior research analyst Anuroopa Nataraj says.

"While their volumes are not significant enough to move the market as of now, it is the high demand for tablets in the emerging markets since the onset of the pandemic that has led these vendors to take advantage of their existing channel presence to build an ecosystem where consumers possess multiple products of the same brand, just like Apple."

Additionally, Chromebook shipments declined, down 61.9% year-over-year in Q1 2022.

"The decline in Chromebooks doesn't come as a surprise given the buildup of inventory due to reduced demand over the past several quarters," IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers research manager Jitesh Ubrani says.

"Barring any major shifts in supply, we do anticipate the inventory to clear out with the help of promotional activity over the course of the coming months and new shipments will start to pick up as the educational buying cycle begins to ramp up again."

The release of this preliminary data comes after IDC named Alibaba a Major Player in the global commercial content delivery network (CDN) in its latest MarketScape report.

The company was positioned as a Major Player in IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Commercial Content Delivery Network Services 2022 Vendor Assessment. The report analysed ten CDN service providers according to their worldwide delivery capabilities and strategies for growth.

According to the report, Alibaba Cloud CDN has a strong presence in China, with major points of presence deployments and extensive media and web content delivery capabilities. Alibaba Cloud's CDN currently supports 80% of the country's popular websites and 1.5 million daily accelerated domain names. Its collaboration with multiple global internet service providers outside the country means users can access consistent services regardless of their location.

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