Android Tablet Share Falls Below 50 Percent for First Time in 10 Years

Inflation has gripped household budgets and consumer sentiment is on the decline, yet mobile computing demand persists as user behaviors favor hybrid work and tablet shipments continue to outpace pre-pandemic levels, according to Strategy Analytics. Tablet demand in the second quarter of 2022 followed this pattern of higher shipments for premium and detachable tablets, thus favoring Apple, Windows OEMs, and to some extent, Samsung – pushing Android market share down to 49%. Mounting macro-economic pressures, lower consumer sentiment, the evolving threat of COVID, and a prolonged Russia/Ukraine conflict could turn the second half of the year much more challenging.

“These two factors of inflation and hybrid work create a remarkable dynamic where: 1) wealthy consumers continue spending on premium devices, while average consumers pull back on spending in lower tiers; and, 2) purchases favor detachable tablets to get work done rather than solely serve entertainment needs. All the top vendors now have detachables in their line-ups, spanning implementations on five different operating systems. To be successful in this new environment, brands must continue improving tablet hardware and software to improve user productivity,” said Eric Smith, the Director of Connected Computing at Strategy Analytics.

“Android tablet demand pulled down market performance as all other operating systems outpaced the market decline of -15%. Apple benefitted from a wealthier customer base than Android, but supply issues kept them from reaching even more demand than they did during the quarter. Windows OEMs, led by Microsoft, also performed well as commercial demand is stronger than consumer demand, favoring premium Windows devices. We should also highlight the rising strength of HarmonyOS from Huawei – and the company’s reach into Russia as other top vendors left the market after the invasion of Ukraine – as a factor in siphoning Android demand. Perhaps Android’s fortunes will change with Prime Day in Q3 and year-end promotions in Q4,” added Industry Analyst Chirag Upadhyay.

Apple iPadOS shipments fell 7% to 14.8 million units in 2Q22, with worldwide market share climbing 3.3 percentage points to 38% as the vendor outpaced the market. Samsung led the Android market with a 13% decline to 7.1 million units; market share increased by 0.2 percentage points to 18% during the same period as this performance was stronger than the overall market. Lenovo returned to the third-ranking globally, though shipments fell by 25% to 3.5 million units; market share fell -1.3 percentage points during the same period to 9% as competition in North America and EMEA intensified. Amazon was close behind Lenovo with 3.4 million shipments, registering a 19% decline YoY and a 10% sequential decline typical of a pre-Prime Day quarter; accordingly, market share fell 0.5 percentage points to 9%. Huawei tablet shipments fell 34% to 1.4 million units, which is the company's best performance in over a year as sanctions and new competitors have fundamentally changed their tablet strategy; market share fell 1.1 percentage points to 4% during the same period.

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