Apple remains largest vendor despite ‘sharpest ever’ decline in iPad shipments
Global PC shipments rose 5 percent year on year to reach 123.7 million units in the first quarter of 2014, according to the latest shipments data published by research firm Canalys. Roughly 41 percent of those shipments belonged to the tablet category and about 38 percent to the species notebook, with desktops making up the rest.
Where the non-tablet PC segment is concerned, a notable trend Canalys identified during the quarter was that the Windows XP “supportocalypse” helped arrest the decline in notebook shipments somewhat, limiting it to 7 percent. This factor also helped desktop shipments remain flat year on year.
The quarter was particularly good for Lenovo as it managed to raise its PC market share from 10 percent to 12 percent, shipping around 15 million units worldwide. “It achieved solid annual growth in all PC categories and is now placed first, second and third in the notebook, desktop and tablet markets respectively.” said Canalys in a press release.
EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), per Canalys analyst James Wang, was the region where most of that growth came from, with the Chinese vendor managing an impressive 61-percent year-on-year growth in shipments there.
“‘Lenovo was quick to move with new form factors and its Yoga line now dominates the global convertible notebook market,”Wang said. “In addition, it has diversified its tablet portfolio and has product SKUs in all key market segments. Unlike Apple, with its ‘one size fits all’ tablet strategy, Lenovo and others are free to tailor tablets to specific market segments. The tablet form factor is well liked by both young and old consumers; product customization can be beneficial in both cases.”
Apple, meanwhile, experienced a precipitous decline in iPad shipments. Dubbing it the “sharpest ever”, analyst Tim Coulling said the decline in iPad shipments was on account of Apple trying “to run down its iPad inventory, a smart move as tablet stock in the channel rose due to strong seasonal shipments in the previous quarter.”
“Longer term, we do not believe Apple’s Q1 performance points to a decline in the tablet category, despite growing pressure from larger-screen smart phones. Consumers, and increasingly businesses, are continuing to adapt, with tablets acting as disruptors and finding their place as desktop and notebook replacements. Apple’s ecosystem and the recent launch of Office for iPad should ensure it is well placed to remain a leader for some time,” Couling said.