A new market study on tablet and Chromebook shipments in 2021 by IDC (International Data Corporation), Apple’s iPad dominated the global tablet market with 17.5 million shipments and captured 38% of the market share. The report also reveals that despite slow growth in tablet shipments in Q4, 2021 due to a decline in demand, the market segment saw “solid growth” for 2021 with 3.2% Y-o-Y growth.
Worldwide tablet shipments reached 46 million units during the fourth quarter of 2021 (4Q21), posting a decline for the second time since the pandemic began in 2020. Shipments declined 11.9% year over year in 4Q21 as demand slowed, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. For the full year 2021, total tablet shipments were up 3.2% year over year and reached 168.8 million units, the market’s highest level since 2016.
Apple maintains lead over Samsung with 26 million more iPad shipments than Galaxy tabs in 2021
Due to COVID-19 related supply constraints and the global chip crisis, Apple reportedly cut iPad production by 50% to maintain a steady supply of iPhone 13 models. Although the reduction in units resulted in a decline in iPad sales for Q1, 2022 (October – December 2021), the device still captured the largest market share and enabled Apple to maintain its dominance over rivals.
In Q4, 2021, iPad shipments reached 17.5 million units but saw an 8.6% decline from 19.1 million units in Q4, 2020. And Galaxy shipments shrunk to 7.3 million units with a 21.6% decline from 9.3 million units in Q4, 2020.
In 2021, Apple shipped over 26 million more iPad units than Samsung’s Galaxy tabs and captured 34.2% of the market share.
Anuroopa Nataraj, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers said that even though demand for tablets is diminishing as life is returning to pre-COVID 19 normal, the market segment is likely to see a high number of shipments as remote work and online learning routines are going to continue.
“Though 2021 was a great year for the tablet market, shipments have begun to decelerate as the market has moved past peak demand across many geographies. However, shipments in the near future will remain above pre-pandemic levels as virtual learning, remote work, and media consumption remain priorities for users.”
In 2021, Apple updated its tablet lineup with new iPad Pro, iPad mini (6th generation), and iPad (9th generation) models which diversified its price range further to give consumers more options to choose from.