Supply chain
Digitimes Research: Worldwide tablet shipments decline 18% on year in 3Q15
Jim Hsiao, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

Worldwide tablet shipments reached only 50.64 million units in the third quarter, up 9% from the second quarter, but still down sharply by 18% on year, despite the fact that Europe and US retailers were aggressively preparing for the year-end holiday shopping season and demand from Russia and Eastern Europe started recovering.

Apple's tablet shipments dropped to only 9.9 million units in the third quarter since the vendor only launched one new model - the new iPad mini 4 - in the quarter for 2015 and has been focusing more on digesting existing inventory instead of promoting the new one. Apple did not cut the prices of its tablet products, which also undermined its shipments in the quarter, according to Digitimes Research's latest report about tablets.

White-box tablet vendors performed better than expected in the third quarter due to a number of reason: There were stable orders from their Europe and North America clients for the year-end holidays; demand from emerging markets started to recover; and the China currency devalued slightly. White-box vendors together shipped 20.1 million tablets in the third quarter, up more than 20% from a quarter ago.

Samsung Electronics, which ranked the second largest worldwide in the third quarter, turned its focus to above 7-inch products, but the strategy caused the company's share in worldwide shipments to drop in the quarter despite a boost in the product ASP.

Third-place Lenovo achieved strong shipments in the third quarter with its products' cost-performance ratio better than competitors'.

Asustek's shipments in the quarter saw weaker growth than those of the previous years, partly impacted by the fact its ZenPad quality issue remained unresolved. Asustek was the fourth largest in the third quarter.

Microsoft dropped to the eighth place in the quarter as the company was ready to launch its new Surface products in October.

Overly relying on orders for iPads, Taiwan's tablet shipments only reached 15.09 million units in the third quarter. Foxconn received Apple's new orders for the iPad mini 4, but Compal had to share with China makers orders from Amazon. Inventec received orders from Asustek and started mass production in the third quarter.

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