Total tablet PC display shipments declined 10 percent between the first half of 2013 and 2014, while combined tablet PC display shipments to Apple and Samsung fell 34 percent, indicating that as the tablet PC market matures and growth slows, the dominance of market leaders Apple and Samsung is also weakening, according to an NPD DisplaySearch report.
Total tablet PC panel shipments to Apple reached just 31 million units in the first half of 2014, which is a year-over-year decline of 14 percent. During that same period, panels shipped to Samsung fell to 14.7 million units, a year-over-year decline of 29 percent.
While the two companies comprised 42 percent of tablet PC panel shipments in the first half of 2013, their combined share dropped to 29 percent in the same period in 2014, according to the report.
"While we do not have shipment data specifically on Brazil, India or Russia, our research shows that the growth rate in emerging regions, of which these are constituent countries, is showing a pronounced slowdown," Paul Gagnon, an analyst at NPD, told eWEEK. "Even in China, the second largest market for tablet shipments and one of the highest growth regions in recent years, the growth rate turned negative in the first quarter of 2014 for the first time."
Gagnon noted that for China in particular, a lot of the growth in tablets was driven by so-called "white box" brands, or brands that sell without using a well-recognized name brand, due to the very low prices.
However, Gagnon said the performance of these products has been poor and Chinese consumer demand has softened as a result.
Midlevel tablet PC panel shipments for Samsung's 7-inch, 8-inch and 10.1-inch products also declined, which caused JDI, Samsung Display and BOE to reduce tablet PC panel production in 2014.
Apple launched its new high-end iPad series in the fourth quarter of 2013, with the 7.9-inch iPad Mini Retina Display and the 9.7-inch iPad Air.
The report noted that while panel shipment levels were increased in the beginning of this year to satisfy new-product demand and year-end seasonality, demand rapidly decreased, which forced LG Display, Samsung Display, Sharp, and AUO to ship fewer panels than previously planned.
Samsung also focused on the high-end tablet PC segment, led by the Galaxy Tab, Tab Pro and Galaxy Note Pro devices, but like Apple, panel shipment demand also decreased significantly in the first half of this year.
Even though Samsung released new products, like the 8.4-inch, 10.1-inch and 12.2-inch panels in the first quarter of 2014, demand did not keep pace with previous market expectations.