IDC: Decline in tablet shipments in Q1 2016, rise for detachables like Surface

IDC says the first quarter of 2016 saw a decline in overall tablet shipments worldwide. However, it also saw a new high for detachable tablets such as the Surface family in the quarter.

IDC says 39.6 million tablet shipped in the first quarter of the year, down from 46.4 million tablets shipped in the first quarter of 2015. It added:

Meanwhile, detachables experienced triple-digit year-over-year growth on shipments of more than 4.9 million units, an all-time high in the first quarter of a calendar year. "Microsoft arguably created the market for detachable tablets with the launch of their Surface line of products," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "With the PC industry in decline, the detachable market stands to benefit as consumers and enterprises seek to replace their aging PCs with detachables. Apple's recent foray into this segment has garnered them an impressive lead in the short term, although continued long-term success may prove challenging as a higher entry price point staves off consumers and iOS has yet to prove its enterprise-readiness, leaving plenty of room for Microsoft and their hardware partners to reestablish themselves."

Apple launched the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in 2015, and the 9.7-inch version late in March. It shipped a total of 10.3 million iPads in the first quarter, but the company did not break down just how many iPad Pros it had sold during the quarter. Microsoft also does not officially state how many of its Surface products it ships, but it did state last week.that it saw a 61% increase in revenue from that division during the first quarter of 2016.

John Callaham