“The latest holiday season saw a significant surge in tablet promotions and bundled offers, but this wasn’t enough to reverse the market’s fortunes, “said Himani Mukka, Research Manager at Canalys. “Aggressive promotional strategies have been implemented globally to address longstanding elevated tablet inventories. In certain markets in Asia Pacific, for example, there have been instances of old tablet models being bundled with newly launched smartphones to expedite inventory clearance. With healthier inventory levels and further scope for government and commercial deployments, tablet sell-in is expected to rebound in 2024. New models announced by TCL and Lenovo at CES 2024 and anticipated updates to Apple’s iPad portfolio early this year will help provide a boost to the tablet refresh opportunity.” 

“The innovation gap between tablets and other personal computing devices is something for key tablet vendors to pay attention to”, said Kieren Jessop Analyst at Canalys. “Plans around on-device AI integration in tablets trail behind those in PCs and smartphones. Bringing this functionality across devices will be crucial for vendors aiming to deliver a unified and seamless experience on ecosystems. Elsewhere, this year will see a greater focus on foldable tablet form factors. Although shipment volumes will likely remain restricted due to the premium pricing of these models, they will provide an opportunity for vendors to showcase user-experiences benefits for content consumption, learning and productivity.”

In Q4 2023, the tablet market was aided by the robust performance of Chinese vendors. Huawei experienced stellar shipment growth of 95%, as it surged to third place in the rankings. Apple maintained its leading position despite a 24% year-on-year decline, shipping 14.8 million iPads in the quarter. Samsung secured second spot with 6.8 million units shipped, posting an 11% annual decrease. Lenovo dropped to fourth place but posted healthy shipment growth of 15%, gaining over 2 points of market share year-on-year. Amazon rounded out the top five with a 44% annual decline and 2 million tablets shipped globally.