COVID-19 clobbers tablet shipments, with Apple down 30%

tablet computer
Apple tablet shipments nosedived by 30% in the first quarter on the impact of COVID-19, but the vendor still held the top spot globally.

COVID-19 furthered the decline of slate and detachable tablets in the first quarter by 18% over the year ago quarter, while Apple saw a 30% decline.

Apple was still the top vendor, shipping 6.9 million tablets in the quarter, but was hurt by the closing of factories in Asia because of the virus, according to analyst firm IDC.

There were 24.6 million tablets from all vendors shipped in the first quarter globally.  Detachables gained market share with year over year growth of nearly 57%, mainly because of Apple devices.

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IDC counts every iPad except for the mini as a detachable, because Apple now offers a detachable keyboard. The keyboard makes the tablet more of a productivity tool than an entertainment device, IDC said.

Samsung finished second behind Apple with 5 million table shipments, followed by Huawei with 3 million and Lenovo with 1.6 million.  Amazon.com shipped 1.4 million and all others shipped 6.8 million. In addition to Apple’s decline, Huawei saw a decline of 8% for the quarter.

Samsung launched the Tab S6 5G, making it the first vendor to introduce 5G in tablets.  Huawei was hurt by the lack of Google services due to a trade backlash between the U.S. and China.

Tablets are just one of the electronics categories affected by the virus and reductions in demand and supplies.  Samsung reported drastic decline in demand for smartphones in its first quarter earnings report released Tuesday.

RELATED: Samsung reports solid memory demand, drastic smartphone decline

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