BOSTON – Combined shipments of Apple and Samsung tablets fell below 50 percent for the first time in the U.S. and globally in 2014, Strategy Analytics found.
“Apple has not brought enough innovation to the iPad to convince consumers to upgrade at a faster pace and has been content to cannibalize its iPad Mini business via highermargin iPhone 6 Plus sales,” senior analyst Eric Smith told TWICE. Samsung “is being squeezed by low-priced whitebox ODMs and other major players developing their Android tablet lineups while Apple occupies the premium segment.”
In the U.S., the two suppliers’ combined tablet share fell to 49 percent in 2014 from the previous year’s 56 percent. Globally, combined share fell to 43 percent in 2014 from 51 percent.
Global tablet-shipment growth slowed to 6.6 percent in 2014 and will slow further in 2015 to 6 percent growth, the company said. U.S shipment growth slowed to 5 percent in 2014.
The top two vendors “cannot rely on inertia alone to hold market share while smaller players compete on price on the low end and innovative new form factors on the high end,” the research company said.
Winners include Lenovo and white-box vendors, the company said. Lenovo’s innovative form factors boosted that company’s share by 1.1 percentage points in 2014 to 5 percent. White-box vendors built their share to 29 percent in 2014 from 24 percent “via entry-level and ultra-low-priced tablets in emerging markets and as holiday promotions in developed markets,” Strategy Analytics said.