The Global Tablet Market Faces Steep Decline in Q3 2023


The tablet market has hit another rough patch in the third quarter of 2023, witnessing a stark 14.2% year-over-year decline, with only 33.2 million units shipped worldwide. This decline follows a massive 29.9% YoY decrease in Q2 2023. And while the demand remains challenging, the market did experience an 18% uptick from the previous quarter due to seasonal factors.

Global Tablet Market Takes a Hit: 14.2% Decline in Q3 2023

Apple Holds Its Ground Despite Challenges

Despite these challenging times, Apple continues to lead the tablet market, shipping 12.5 million units. Though this marks a 15.1% year-over-year decline. Interestingly, Apple didn’t introduce any new models during Q3, which usually bolsters sales. Nevertheless, the tech giant retained its market share.

Market Leaders and Their Performance

In second place is Samsung, with 6 million units shipped, showing resilience in the face of market adversity. Lenovo and HUAWEI secured the third and fourth positions, shipping 2.6 million and 2.3 million units, respectively. Meanwhile, Amazon made a surprise comeback to the top 5, capitalizing on the holiday season and launching a new value-priced premium device, the Fire Max 11.

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Chromebooks Face a Slump

On the flip side, Chromebook shipments also took a hit in 3Q23, with a decline of 20.8%. However, there is hope that the Chromebook market might bounce back thanks to an impending refresh in the education sector and remaining government budget allocations.

Tablets’ Ongoing Struggle

Tablets have always struggled to find their niche between PCs and smartphones, which continues to negatively impact the market, according to Jitesh Ubrani, research manager at IDC‘s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. To thrive, tablet manufacturers are realizing that they work best when complementing PCs and smartphones. This could mean more integrated software and services experiences in the future, though it might take time to materialize.

Gloomy Outlook for the Tablet Market

Anuroopa Nataraj, Senior Research Analyst with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, paints a somber picture: “The first three quarters of 2023 have seen significant contractions in the tablet market, and the approaching holiday season isn’t likely to bring significant changes. With macroeconomic conditions showing little improvement, it is anticipated that project and purchase delays will extend into 2024. While a potential refresh in the education sector and increased use cases across different industries may provide some long-term stability for the tablet market, the near future does not hold much promise for a substantial increase in tablet sales.” The tablet market’s road to recovery appears to be long and uncertain.


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