More than 28% of global tablets shipped are ‘white box’

Research from Strategy Analytics shows that while Apple with its iPad and Samsung with its Galaxy Tabs might be some of the big names in the tablet industry, it is actually the no-name cheaper devices which are dominating the market.

13.3m of these ‘white box’ devices shipped during Q1 2016 in what the research house stated was the “worst quarter since 2012” for the tablet market.

Apple iPad’s decline not new

While Strategy Analytics shows Apple’s shipment market share declining by 19% year-over-year, hunting around for more data on the subject shows that the vendor has seen its share shrink for a few years now.

StatCounter, for instance, shows the number of Apple devices currently in circulation around the globe falling by 10% between 2013 and 2016.

Good news for Android?

Many ‘white box’ tablets run Android OS, and while overall devices running the operating system has seen declining shipments also, around 30m Android tablets were sold during Q1 2016 according to Strategy Analytics.

This follows on from data released in late 2015 showing 68% of globally shipped tablets running Android and predicting that those running the operating system will still dominate at least up until 2019.

Unstable market?

It’s certainly an interesting time for the tablet market. While it has broadly been a bad quarter for global shipments, vendors such as Chinese manufacturer Huawei have seen terrific growth of 66% year-over-year during Q1 2016 – and its operating system of choice? Windows.

There are, I think, a few sureties though. ‘White box’ devices will continue to be first choice for many tablet buyers, in particular when we think about the influence Asia and specifically China has on how the global tablet market develops. 

For ‘white box’ manufacturers in Asia, I expect they will be somewhat enthused that if priced competitively enough such devices can easily compete with the bigger brands.

And Huawei will no doubt be feeling it can compete in the market too.