Worldwide shipments of tablet computers shrank anew in the second quarter of this year, International Data Corporation reported on Monday. A total of 38.7 million tablets were shipped during the April-June quarter, a 12.3 percent drop from the 44.1 million a year ago, the research firm said. The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker report has shown declining sales since 2015 when the once-hot market cooled. In the second quarter this year, Google-backed Android software powered 65 percent of the tablets shipped. Tablets using the Apple iOS operating system came in at second place, representing 26 percent of shipments.
Tablets running on Microsoft Windows software accounted for the remaining shipments, but there were early signs that device makers were warming to Windows tablets as a hedge against declining interest in Android, according to IDC. Tablet makers are evidently targeting people who want to get work done instead of simply using devices for entertainment. Multi-tasking and productivity have long been strong suits for Microsoft products.
"The market has spoken as consumers and enterprises seek more productive form factors and operating systems - it's the reason we're seeing continued growth in detachables," said IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani.
"At present, it's difficult for Android to compete with iOS or Windows detachable products."
Apple remained the top tablet maker in the second quarter, shipping 10 million iPads to command 25.8 percent of the market, IDC reported. Samsung continued in second place, despite seeing the number of tablets shipped sink by 24.5 percent from a year ago to six million units.