iPads have their best quarter in two years, as Apple sees the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

Global tablet shipments fell 8% year-on-year in in the second quarter (Q2) of 2016 to 46.7 million units while average selling prices (ASPs) went the other way, climbing 9% during the same period, according to Strategy Analytics. Consumers and enterprises alike are buying more “pro slates” (such as the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4) than ever before “as prices reach tolerable levels and as computing behaviors and needs shift toward more mobility and touchscreen interfaces,” adds the research group.

Apple iOS shipments came in at 10 million iPads in Q2 2016 leaving it with a worldwide market share of 21% of the tablet market. The 10 million shipments in Q2 2016 declined 9% annually and 3% sequentially. However, Q2 2016 represented the first full quarter of iPad Pro 9.7 sales, which helped drive ASPs to $490 and contributed to the best quarter Apple has had in two years.

“The iPad has marked 10 quarters of annual shipment declines but some light is now visible at the end of the tunnel,” says Peter King, Service Director, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies service, Strategy Analytics. “In the same way that Windows tablets gained market share with a wide range of premium to low tier 2-in-1 Tablets, Apple is riding consumer and enterprise demand for 2-in-1s with multiple price tiers of buy-in to its vision of what a converged computing device can achieve.”

Android-branded vendors shipped 30.1 million units among them worldwide in Q2 2016, down 15% from 35.2 million a year earlier and flat sequentially. Market share has fallen to 64% as high growth of Windows tablet shipments squeeze Android tablets. There is a reordering underway among Android vendors in the middle tier so even though shipments by large vendors like Samsung have fallen, smaller vendors like Huawei, Amazon, and TCL-Alcatel continue to expand their reach, according to Strategy Analytics.

Windows shipments grew 43% year-on-year at 6.7 million units in Q2 2016, from 4.6 million in Q2 2015, reaching 14% market share. Shipments climbed 5% sequentially. Windows share continues to improve as more models are launched by traditional PC vendors and mobile-first vendors alike, Microsoft expands its Surface distribution and lineup, and “white box” vendors sell more Windows tablets, says Strategy Analytics.