The worldwide tablet market had an outstanding fourth quarter (4Q20) with 19.5% year-over-year growth and shipments totaling 52.2 million units, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. Impacted by the pandemic, the tablet market reached shipment levels not seen since the fourth quarter of 2017 when the total was 49.9 million.
Detachable tablets have broadened their presence in the market as the emphasis on productivity, flexibility, and ease of use is now greater than ever before and sales for this category were often in direct competition with notebooks. Shipments for detachable tablets grew 27.9% during the quarter as both Microsoft and Apple helped push the form factor with their respective products. Additionally, backlogs for PCs led some consumers to purchase these detachable tablets in place of notebooks. Meanwhile, slate tablets also grew 13.7% during the quarter as consumers sought ways to stay entertained.
“Unprecedented demand in the consumer and education segments due to work from home and online learning has undoubtedly led to the resurgence in tablet demand,” said Anuroopa Nataraj, research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. “However, the category is not expected to retain this momentum in the long term as it still faces immense competition from notebooks and smartphones.”
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