The 200 million annual shipments milestone for branded tablets continues to elude OEM vendors, and overall growth for 2014 is set to come in at just 2.5%. Apple and Samsung reportedly continued to lead branded vendors in unit share during the first quarter, although with mixed fortunes. Even though the top two branded tablet suppliers combined for nearly 70% of all shipments, Lenovo and Intel are increasingly being seen as the next growth engines for the wider tablet ecosystem.
Apple iPad units were down 13%, while Samsung units were up about 26% year-over-year in the first six months of the year. “The roller coaster ride from the leading two tablet vendors has market watchers looking to other vendors to create sustainable growth,” said Jeff Orr, senior practice director, ABI Research. “All eyes are on Lenovo as it is one of few to demonstrate consistent growth over the past year.”
Within the tablet supply chain, Intel continues to show progress toward its goal of 40 million devices powered by its processors in 2014. While many tablets will come out in non-branded models, 2014 looks to be the tipping point for Intel’s mobility processor strategy. The company has also set up market-specific relationships that should propel it forward during 2015. “Forty million units is only a minor dent in ARM’s domination of tablets, though Intel is quickly becoming a formidable applications processor architecture competitor,” adds Orr.
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