Western European Tablet Market Close to Flat as Vendors Increase Detachable Tablets Offer

Tablet shipments to Western European countries in 2015Q3 totaled 8.7 million units, down by only 1 % from the same quarter last year, according to figures published by International Data Corporation (IDC). This is a clear signal of stabilization following the previous quarter result; however, product mix developments show a shift of vendors towards detachable devices.

With vendors of detachable tablets doubled in number from 2014Q3, and thanks to a broader offer of devices with wide-ranging specs catering for the diverse needs of consumers, professionals, and businesses, shipments of detachable devices broke the one million unit mark in 2015Q3 to account for almost 14 % of the Western European overall market.

»In the context of struggling sales of consumer slate tablets and in view of the fast-rising demand for devices with a detachable keyboard observed over the past few quarters, several industry players have adjusted their product portfolios to include the detachable form factor,« said Marta Fiorentini, senior research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. »The home segment in particular benefitted from this supply boost as most of the new products introduced this quarter targeted consumers to attract back to school demand but also in preparation for the holiday season.«

Despite the remarkable growth of detachables, the overall consumer segment declined by 5 % as demand for the slate form factor contracted by 11 % YoY due to an absence of compelling reasons to renew existing devices with the same form factor as well as the dwindling share of first time buyers.

Although the bulk of devices destined for the Christmas market are expected in the last quarter of the year, shipments in Q3 already showed some signs of seasonality with the increase, especially among local vendors, of models aimed at children, as well as the return of Amazon into the Top 10 vendor ranking as the vendor refreshed its Kindle Fire series.

»Lukewarm acceptance for their previous Fire HDX, mainly due to a very ambitious price point, led the ecommerce giant to redefine the strategy for their own brand devices,« said Daniel Goncalves, research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. »The new Fire tablets are positioned at the entry level and together with an aggressive marketing proposition fuel the already fierce competition in the below €100 segment.«

Commercial tablets experienced solid growth (+24 % YoY) driven by expanding adoption across European companies as well seasonal education deployments. While growth in the slate segment remained in the high single-digit territory as this form factor seems to be more popular for vertical applications and specific usage scenarios supported by ad-hoc software, detachables increased by 74 % YoY. Their total volume, however, remains a small share of all commercial computing devices shipped in Q3 as enterprises evaluate their hardware strategies in light of new products expected in the market in the coming quarters which integrate Windows 10 and Intel’s new silicon.

The arrival in Europe of new designs based on Windows 10 and the sixth generation of Intel CPUs should support shipment volume in the coming quarters as IT departments focus their purchasing decisions on increased security features, application costs (Windows Universal Apps reducing the burden) and device and applications management across all of their employees‘ devices.

In terms of vendor performance Samsung and Apple continued to lead the market. The Korean vendor grew slightly (0.5 % YoY) thanks to the introduction of new models, the high-end Galaxy Tab S2 and the affordable Galaxy Tab E, confirming its commitment to target all market segments. In expectation of new models in Q4, Apple suffered further from slow replacement rates while the average price paid for its devices increased.

Lenovo climbed to third place as the vendor continues to execute on its commitment to become market leader and leverages the success of its YOGA line while preparing for the introduction of YOGA Tab 3 Pro. Asus regained the lead of the detachable segment, but overall shipments recorded a severe contraction and the vendor slipped to fourth place.

Huawei entered the Top 5 ranking for the first time as the Chinese vendor strengthens its presence in the telco segment with connected devices.

segment with connected devices.

Western Europe Tablets: Vendor trends

2015Q3 (Calendar Year) (000 Units)


Vendor Unit Shipments 14Q3 Unit Shipments 15Q3 Unit % Share 14Q3 Unit % Share 15Q3 Unit Growth 14Q3 vs 15Q3
Samsung 2,094 2,105 23.6% 24.0% 0.5%
Apple 2,247 1,961 25.3% 22.3% -12.7%
Lenovo 498 620 5.6% 7.1% 24.5%
ASUS 759 457 8.6% 5.2% -39.8%
Huawei 186 295 2.1% 3.4% 58.6%
Others 3,090 3,347 34.8% 38.1% 8.3%
Total 8,874 8,785 100.0% 100.0% -1.0%
Table Notes:
Tablets include slate and detachable tablets. According to IDC’s Taxonomy, a detachable tablet – previously referred by IDC as 2-in-1 – is designed to function as a standalone slate/tablet as well as a clamshell device through the addition of a physical detachable keyboard, specifically designed for the given tablet.
IDC’s Quarterly Tablet Tracker provides unmatched market coverage and forecasts for the entire device space, covering PCs, tablets, and smartphones in more than 80 countries — providing fast, essenzial, and comprehensive market information across the entire connected device market.
For more information on IDC’s EMEA Quarterly Tablet Tracker or other IDC client computing research services, contact Vice President Karine Paoli on +44 (0) 20 8987 7218 or at kpaoli@idc.com.