Tablet PCs have been around for ages, but when Apple released its first iPad, it's as if the world suddenly realized just how useful they could be. Immediately, iPads flew off the shelves, and a countless number of competitors popped out of nowhere with their own take on things. In recent years, Microsoft has even got in on the action, ruling the roost where Windows slates are concerned.
But, as IDC's latest report highlights, tablets are on the decline, which is sure to leave a sour taste in the mouths of those who still love them. Decline doesn't mean down-and-out, though: there could always be a market for tablets. It just means that with dwindling demand, our choices are bound to get slimmer.
According to IDC's new report, tablet shipments (which include slates and detachables) hit 38.7 million shipped in Q2 2016, which represents a 12.3% decline year-over-year. Of these, Android-based tablets dominated with a 65% share, while Apple sat comfortably at 26%. Windows? It fell short of a clean 1/10th share, settling in at 9%. Compared to Microsoft's phone success, that could actually be considered a huge accomplishment.
The reason for the decline is simple: people seem to want less superfluous devices, and more devices that allow them to do more. That reasoning ties into the fact that detachable tablets are growing in popularity, while the rest are declining.
IDC notes that at current, it's impossible for Android to properly compete with iOS and Windows in the detachable category, which has to be attributed to the fact that Android simply isn't built for productivity. However, Android 7.0 finally introduces multitasking, so the next year or so could be very interesting to watch in this particular segment.