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Are tablets on their way out, as sales continue to decline over the past few years?

Tablet User

There’s a growing concern among tech experts that tablets, particularly Android-powered tablets, are waning in popularity.

In 2010, there were high hopes for a vibrant, thriving Android tablet market. Apple’s inaugural iPad had just reached the shelves of major tech stores worldwide, and it seemed inevitable that Android manufacturers would follow suit by offering a versatile, cost-effective competitor.

And yes, while some Android tablets have made a success of things, for some reason tablets in general just haven’t captured the imagination quite like the industry was hoping for.

The inexpensive Amazon Fire has been one of the biggest recent successes, with its low-budget version becoming an ideal way for youngsters to consume entertainment content at home or on the move.

However, for serious tablet users seeking a more powerful, feature-laden experience, the iPad remains the number one tablet of choice, with only Samsung and Huawei still left flying the flag for high-end Android tablets.

Only iPads and top-end Android tablets are worth protecting with tablet insurance, as cheaper devices like the Amazon Fire won’t break the bank to replace.

How many tablets were sold in 2018?

 According to a report from Strategy Analytics’ Connected Computing Devices (CCD) service, the total shipment of brand-new tablets fell by 11.4 million year-on-year in 2018. The industry sold 173.8 million devices, down from 185.2 million in 2017.

However, the report isn’t all doom and gloom. Of the 173.8 million tablets shipped in 2018, 54.8 million were shipped in Q4 2018 alone. Given that 55.4 million tablets were shipped in Q4 2017, it would suggest that the popularity of tablets during the gift-buying season remains muchly the same.

Eric Smith, director of Connected Computing, believes “several major vendors strengthened their hand in 2018” and did so by “cannibalising market share from weaker players”.


  2018 2017
Apple 44.9 million 43.8 million
Samsung 23.1 million 24.4 million
Huawei 15.4 million 13.3 million
Amazon 11.9 million 12.4 million
Lenovo 8.8 million 10.3 million
Others 69.7 million 81 million
Total 173.8 million 185.2 million


What does the table show? That the real winners in the last 12 months were Apple and Huawei, who both increased their market share. Meanwhile, the market share of lesser-known “other” tablet manufacturers was significantly down last year.


How many Android tablets have been sold?

 Statista publishes a bar graph revealing the global tablet market share held by the leading vendors. As of the third quarter of 2018, Apple retains a leading market share of 26.6%.

However, when you consider that most of the remaining tablet vendors listed develop tablets featuring an Android operating system, Android must surely have an overall market share of more than 60% – given that Windows-based Microsoft tablets would come under the ‘Others’ category.

The market share of all leading tablet vendors in the third quarter of 2018 was as follows:

  • Apple – 26.6%
  • Samsung – 14.6%
  • Amazon – 12%
  • Huawei – 8.9%
  • Lenovo – 6.3%
  • Others – 31.6%


Is it worth buying a tablet now?

 If you’re seeking a cost-effective alternative to buying a laptop, yes, it’s still worth looking to buy a decent tablet. That’s because a tablet is designed to help you achieve the vast majority of things you do on a laptop:

  • You can create and send documents
  • Message your family and friends
  • Log on to social networks
  • Take and share photos and videos
  • Browse the internet
  • Consume video and music content


What are the benefits of having a tablet?

  • You can still use a traditional keyboard and mouse

It is possible to purchase a conventional keyboard and mouse to use for your tablet. These can be connected wirelessly via Bluetooth, without the need for long, annoying cables. Some hybrid tablets will even allow you to physically attach a keyboard to the base of your tablet, turning it into a laptop within seconds. You can get tablet insurance that will cover your accessories as well as the tablet itself.


  • 10” tablet screen sizes are now commonplace

The bigger the screen, the more comfortable the browsing experience can be. 10” screens are now available with leading tablet vendors, whilst still retaining their portability for use on the move.


  • You can print from a tablet using Wi-Fi

Although most tablets aren’t designed to have USB ports, most iOS and Android-operated tablets have printing capabilities to connect to printers via Wi-Fi.

  • Stay connected to the internet wherever you go

Although tablets are primarily designed for Wi-Fi connectivity, some allow the use of SIM cards. This enables you to input a 3G or 4G data SIM card, allowing you to stay online 24/7.


  • Ideal for young children

Instead of handing your young child your own smartphone to play or watch content, an inexpensive tablet allows them to stay entertained whilst maintaining the safety and integrity of your personal smartphone.


Do you need a tablet if you have a smartphone?

 Econsultancy describes a smartphone as being a device that is used constantly and considered a necessity. On the other hand, a tablet is more of a luxury and can be used to maintain productivity, like a computer.


Protect your tablet with Gadget Cover tablet insurance

 Whether you choose to buy a high-value Apple iPad or a leading Samsung or Huawei tablet model, it’s important to protect your investment with reliable tablet insurance.

Your tablet is a device that can be taken anywhere at any time, putting it at a greater risk of being damaged, lost or stolen.

Gadget Cover compares quotes from leading insurance providers for tablets, so that you don’t have to! You can choose a policy that guards against your tablet use, wherever you are in the world, for a premium that won’t break the bank. Our policies cover:

  • Accidental damage
  • Liquid damage
  • Breakdown
  • Theft
  • Unauthorised usage
  • Loss (optional)
  • Tablet accessories
  • Worldwide cover
  • Family cover
  • E-wallet cover

As a Gadget Cover customer, you’ll also get access to the following additional benefits:

  • First month FREE on policies pay-monthly policies
  • UNLIMITED claims
  • Instant cover for your tablet
  • Discounts available for annual policies
  • Low excess

Insure your tablet for total peace of mind with industry leading tablet insurance cover with Gadget Cover.


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