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It's been two and a half years of decline – tablets aren't coming back

Fondleslab sales plummet goes from 'bad' to 'IBM'

People diving off a cliff

Tablet sales have once again fallen, as the market logged its tenth consecutive quarter of decline.

Research firm IDC said on Thursday that the 8.5 per cent drop in shipments year-over-year means that it has now been two and a half years since the tablet market saw any sort of positive growth. In the past three months, all but one of the top five tablet sellers declined, with Huawei being the lone exception.

The analyst house blames the decline on a combination of unsustainable early growth and the fact that little has come in the way of innovations recently.

"The rate at which the tablet market grew from 2010 to 2013 was unlike many other consumer-oriented device markets we've seen before," said IDC worldwide mobile device trackers program VP Ryan Reith.

"However, it appears for many reasons consumers became less eager to refresh these devices, or in some instances purchase them at all. We continue to believe the leading driver for this was the increased dependency on smartphones, along with rather minimal technology and form factor progression."

Leading the pack is Apple, which earlier this week reported that iPad sales were down 13 per cent, while revenues declined 12 per cent. IDC says the Cupertino fashion house owns nearly a quarter of the total market (24.6 per cent).

Second on the list is Samsung, which was more or less flat on the quarter with a 1.1 per cent decline. Samsung shipped six million units, good for a 16.5 per cent share of the total tablet market.

The big winner for the quarter was Huawei, whose jump from 2.0 to 2.7 million tablets shipped marked a 32 per cent increase and a jump from fourth to third in the market, with a 7.4 per cent share. Part of the 700,000 additional tablets shipped was credited to the introduction of a Windows tablet model.

Amazon's Kindle lineup was fourth, shipping 2.2 million tablets and logging a 1.8 per cent decline on the quarter, with six per cent of the market. Lenovo was fifth, as its 2.1 million tablets shipped marked a 3.8 per cent decline and they own 5.7 per cent share of the market.

Outside of the top five, things were even worse. The assorted "others" category, which accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the total market, logged a 14.7 per cent decrease, with 14.4 million units shipped. ®

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