Tablet Market in EMEA Recorded a Strong Decline in 4Q18

The overall tablet market in EMEA declined 9.6% YoY, shipping 14.1 million units in the last quarter of 2018 (4Q18), according to IDC. 2018 closed with a 9.4% YoY drop for the region.

The outlook for early 2019 remains weak and the market in EMEA is expected to decline 9.4% in 1Q19. Plummeting tablet shipments in the region continues to be strongly driven by the erosion in consumer demand, with sales in 4Q particularly affected by a disappointing Black Friday in the Western European region.

Western Europe declined 12% YoY in 4Q18, while Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) declined 4.6% YoY. Nikolina Jurisic, product manager at IDC CEMA, said, "Different factors are to blame for the decline, including market maturity, saturation, cannibalization from large screen size smartphones, vendors and consumers focusing on convertible products, and a lack of innovation in tablets."

Samsung leads the company ranking in EMEA, fueled by stronger traction of the brand in the emerging CEMA markets, while Apple, number 2 in the sub-region, was number 1 in Western Europe. It also comfortably held the number 1 position in the detachable category, supported by the iPad Pro refresh last November. Huawei is third and continues to increase its footprint across the most developed economies. Lenovo has softened its push on tablet devices, while Amazon's decline is explained by the seasonality shift into 3Q18.

IDC expects the decline to slow down throughout 2019, helped not only by more favorable YoY comparisons but also by the pickup in commercial, which is expected to return to growth in 2020. The commercial tablet market in EMEA is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.8% to 2023. The end of life for Windows 7 support in 2020 is expected to be a turning point for the adoption of detachables in enterprise and to boost new usage scenarios for the form factor.

The short-term forecast remains negative and the rollout of detachables will continue to be limited in EMEA as other macroeconomic factors take effect. "The short-term Intel CPU shortage will negatively impact Windows detachable tablets. Economic uncertainly in MEA and a weak and volatile exchange rate in Russia, coupled with economic slowdown and possible new sanctions, are expected to impact demand in the coming quarters. Nevertheless, small pockets of growth are expected in larger tablet screen sizes and in commercial in the CEMA region," said Jurisic.

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