Although initially a marketplace that only Apple had a piece of, tablets quickly became something that everyone wanted to get involved with. First came Samsung and then desktop PC developers like Acer and Lenova got onboard. These days it seems that everyone has created a tablet or a range of tablets, because everyone has the technology and the capacity to do it.
In 2014 there were more tablets sold by more developers than in any other year. In this article we’ll look at who created those tablets, the companies that are trying their best to rival the iPad, the Galaxy Tab and the other top-selling tablets.
This is a list of the biggest selling tablet brands of last year.
Perhaps best known for their audio products, including stereo systems, headphones and a great deal more, Panasonic is a Japanese brand that recently dipped into the tablet market, picking up just over 1% of the total share of table sales in the process. This doesn’t sound like much, but it amounts for a lot of sales and makes us wonder why this established brand didn’t get involved any sooner.
Dell made their name selling custom-built machines that were top of the range in style, function and in price. Dell machines have always had a good name, and you certainly get what you pay for. They have dropped a little over the years and are not what they used to be, but they are still a reputable brand and that allowed them to pick up a 1.5% share of the tablet market last year. Their biggest releases have been the Dell Venue 7 and 8 tablets, which use the Android operating system.
A budget brand, Lenova is based in China and began by selling everything from peripherals to desktop PCs. They have always targeted the lower-end of the market, selling for budget prices, but their products generally have a very good name for themselves. Lenova’s popularity in the West has moved at an incredible pace, moving them from relative obscurity into one of the most popular brands on the market today. Their tablets, which include the Yoga and Yoga Pro devices, have helped them to a 2.1% share of the tablet industry.
A blast from the past, HP is a huge technology company that used to create a large share of the desktop PCs and components on the marketplace. Its share is no longer dominant, but that has more to do with the variety of the competition than a serious decline in sales. HP has used its experience and its good name to achieve a share of 2.3% in this industry, which has been thanks to devices such as the HP ElitePad and a few others.
Another budget brand, Acer has been a major leader in the West and the East for a little longer than Lenova, and this has allowed it to gain a larger share of the tablet market. In fact, their share amounts to around 3%, and they have a number of tablets on the market that help to push these sales up. If you want a budget tablet that packs a punch, you can’t go much wrong with Acer, and it seems that we’re not the only ones who think that.
The decline of Microsoft has been a strange, albeit an inevitable one. Microsoft had a dominant share of the desktop PC market for so long that many people think they abused it. They let glitches and poor software spoil their reputation, so that as soon as there were more choices available, everyone was ready to jump ship. Microsoft still have a large following though and it should not be forgotten that Microsoft actually created the very first Tablet PC, giving it that very name and leaving a legacy that remains today. Their first tablet didn’t take off, but it formed the basis for what would become the iPad many years later, and once this market took off, Microsoft climbed back on board and have gained a share that amounts to a little less than 3.5%. This share is set to increase, but by how much is anyone’s guess.
4. Google Nexus
As one of the biggest companies in the world, and a leading name when it comes to technology, it only makes sense that Google are on this list. The Google Nexus is their flagship product, using the Android operating system, which Google also created. In reality, because of the Android OS, Google have a larger share of this market than this position lets on, but when it comes to actual sales of tablets, their share is just a little over 4%.
Another budget brand, ASUS is clearly doing a lot better for itself than the other budget brands listed here. In fact, with a share that is just a fraction under 5%, they are well ahead of the others and are only beaten by the two behemoths that top this list. Asus are based in Taiwan and are one of the biggest and fastest growing technology companies in the world. Their tablets have included the Asus Memo Pad, the Asus ZenUI and several others, all of which have received favorable reviews.
Despite creating more tablets, Samsung have always played second fiddle to the brand that leads the way on this list. In fact, that doesn’t just apply to tablets, as they are also behind when it comes to smartphones. Still, Samsung are a very good brand and one that has created some great products. They have also gone some way to advancing the technology used in the mobile market, introducing some of the best cameras and touchscreen features. The Galaxy Tab is one of the better tablets released by Samsung, but it is far from the only one. Samsung’s share of this market is a little less than 20%, and whilst that might not be as much as the brand that leads the way, it is still 4x more than the brand in third, Asus.
Thanks to a share of more than 50%, Apple is well in front. This means that 1 out of every 2 tablets currently on the marketplace is an Apple. In fact, 1 out of every 2 tablets is an iPad, as that is the only line of tablets that this tech giant has released. The iPad comes in several forms of course, including the Mini and the Air, and it is considered to be the most advanced tablet around. With an unbeatable operating system and some powerful tech, it is perhaps no surprise to see Apple at the number 1 spot. It should be noted that their share of the market dropped by 7% from the previous year, but the same can be said for Samsung, as the remaining share went not to their close rivals, but to all of the other, smaller brands mentioned on this list.
2015 and Beyond
The future is not so bright for the tablet market, as sales seem to be dropping year on year. This is a market that is only just opening up to other brands, with everyone now entitled to get their own piece of a very lucrative pie, but in a year or two it might be an industry that few people care about anymore. It seems strange to think of it like that, especially considering the popularity of smartphones, but that’s what the sales figures seem to be suggesting. These companies can only hope that this slump is temporary, that the reason people are no longer buying is because they are happy with what they have, and that if they wave enough new features in front of their faces, they will no longer be happy and will be ready to buy.
Apple have a lot to do if they are to retain more than a 50% share of the market, but it seems highly unlikely that anyone will steal their position anytime soon. After all, they sell twice as many tablets as closest rivals Samsung and they sell ten times as many as Asus. As Apple look towards other products though, keen to discover the next big thing before anyone else, they might loosen their grip further on the tablet industry and that will create a void that many companies are waiting to fill.
Either way, regardless of what happens we can be sure that this market will always be competitive. With so many top companies competing for a big share, everyone will be kept on their toes and that will get the very best technology out of them, whilst also lowering the prices. That’s not great news for the companies involved, but it is fantastic news for us consumers.