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Samsung loses ground to Chinese brands in the tablet market

Market leaders Samsung and Apple have both seen their share of the tablet market decline YoY in Q1 2015, as inexpensive brands and white-box products from China gain ground.

Published onMay 18, 2015

samsung galaxy tab s 8.4 vs tabpro 8.4 (10 of 14)

Newly compiled data from industry researcher Strategy Analytics shows that big names brands in the tablet market, such as Samsung and Apple, have seen their market shares take a plunge this year, while low cost “white box” Chinese products are gaining momentum.

Samsung has been the hardest hit in the past twelve months, having seen its share of the tablet market shrink by 5.6 percent, down to 17 percent of the market in the first quarter. Apple also took a significant hit, as its share declined 4.6 percent from 28.9 in Q1 2014 to 24.3 in Q1 2015. Combined, Apple and Samsung accounted for just over half of the world’s tablet market back in Q1 2014, but this year only managed to grab a 41.3 percent share of the market in the same quarter this year.

“2015 will be the year that Samsung pares down its large product portfolio to focus on a tighter circle of strong performers in the mid- to low-price tiers” – Strategy Analytics

The market appears to be diversifying away from the familiar global brands, and much of this share is being eaten into by growing Chinese manufacturers. Price competitive companies Lenovo and HUAWEI both saw growth compared with the same quarter last year, up 1.2 and 1.5 percent each, ending up with a 5.3 and 2.4 percent share respectively. Falling costs of previously high-end features have given a big boost to the price/performance value proposition offered by these less-expensive tablet brands.The other major winner in the quarter has been “white box” tablets, i.e. non-brand specific devices produced in smaller quantities, which often come from low cost Chinese manufacturers and are powered by Android. This market segment grew by a further 2.7 percent year-over-year and now accounts for a substantial 28.4 percent of the tablet market, making it larger than either Apple or Samsung.

Samsung’s latest budget friendly Galaxy Tab A line-up might help to address the price sensitivity issue and its upcoming Galaxy Tab S2 should keep up Samsung’s presence in the high-end segment, but it’s likely to be another tough year for the established brands.

Which tablets have you been looking at this year?

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