IDC: Commercial Tablets Drive Growth in Europe

Western Europe’s tablet market faced challenges again in Q1’15, declining 10.5% YoY to 8.5 million units. IDC’s data shows that the contraction was mainly down to slow consumer demand; commercial adoption grew, with volumes rising 51.3% YoY.

IDC writes that consumers’ attention and budgets are being distracted from the tablet market by extended lifecycles, phablet competition and low-cost portable PCs. Hybrid share continued to grow, however, although remained relatively low (5.9%). Consumers have begun to favour these models recently, and shipments in Q1 were up 44.4%.

There were no major product launches at the start of the year, which also contributed to low demand. The enterprise and professional segments are the main source of growth today, said IDC’s Chrystelle Labesque. She added, “Vendors have significantly expanded their product portfolio with devices optimised for business usage”.

The negative trend at the start of the year is expected to reverse in coming quarters. Innovation and new product launches, as existing devices reach the end of their lifecycle, will contribute to this, as will rising commercial adoption. Companies of all sizes are using tablets today, with the UK, France, Germany and the Nordics at the forefront.

IDC predicts that the release of Windows 10 will resolve problems that have hampered tablet and hybrid adoption in business. This will help to support tablet volumes in 2015 and beyond.

Android remained the most popular tablet OS in Q1. The largest Android vendor, Samsung, under-performed in the consumer segment but had strong commercial results. iOS remained in second place, thanks to rising demand for Apple’s large-screen products – the success of the iPhone 6 has cannibalised sales of the iPad Mini. Windows rules the rest of the market, with strong double-digit growth (55.4%) for the third consecutive quarter. IDC writes that this is because of the growing number of Windows devices and hybrid adoption.

Western European Tablet Operating System Trends, Q1’15 (000s)
Vendor Q1’15 Units Q1’14 Units Q1’15 Market Share Q1’14 Market Share YoY Change
Android 5,517 6,092 64.6% 63.8% -9.4%
iOS 2,304 2,989 27.0% 31.3% -22.9%
Windows 722 465 8.4% 4.9% 55.4%
Total 8,543 9,546 100.0% 100.0% -10.5%

Source: IDC