Last updateThu, 17 Sep 2020 8pm

EMEA Tablet Market Posts Strongest Performance Since 2013, Says IDC

The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) tablet market grew by 23.8% YoY, reaching 11.9 million units in the second quarter of 2020, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). Tablets performed positively for the first time in six years in EMEA and posted the strongest growth since 2013, when the market had not yet reached maturity. The consumer segment was the main driver, with 27.1% YoY growth. This was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden need to acquire devices for leisure and education purposes during lockdown.

"Demand in Western Europe remained healthy throughout the whole quarter as tablets emerged as a reliable and affordable alternative for consumers to meet their needs for content consumption and provide access to remote schooling during the lockdown," said Helena Ferreira, research analyst, IDC Western Europe Personal Computing Devices. "Backlogs created in the first quarter of the year, due to severe constraints in the supply chain, also contributed to the large volume of shipments."

The Western European tablet market grew 28.3% YoY in the second quarter of the year, while Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Middle East and Africa (MEA) increased 26.9% and 10.8% YoY respectively.

"The CEE and MEA tablet markets in 2Q20 performed much stronger than predicted," said Stefania Lorenz, associate VP EMEA. "The spike in consumer demand for tablets was driven by the lack of notebooks in the market. In fact, tablets were not expected to be the first choice for home-schooling or home-working, but younger students and children were equipped with tablets instead of notebooks. The 'forced' working and schooling from home has pushed demand to high volumes in both CEE and MEA."

Vendor Highlights

Samsung retained the lead in EMEA, with a solid performance across the whole region, particularly through large deployments in some developing economies. Apple remained in second position, driven by the popularity of the iPad among consumers in Western Europe and compelling education solutions. Huawei retained third place, with the vendor increasingly aggressive in pushing its tablet devices through promotional campaigns and bundling offers. The growing traction for Lenovo's slate devices in the education sector secured fourth place for the vendor in EMEA. Amazon benefited from the jump in online sales during the lockdown to regain fifth place.
The EMEA tablet market is expected to jump 10.9% YoY in calendar 3Q20 and close 2020 with 3.7% YoY growth. Contrary to expectations three months ago, the market did not slow down from June. The growing number of devices per household is expected to help maintain a buoyant third calendar quarter.

"Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions throughout the region, public behavior remains cautious in general," said Daniel Goncalves, research manager, IDC Western Europe Personal Computing Devices. "Therefore income that would otherwise have been spent on holidays or other activities has been allocated to home entertainment, and this has benefited tablets. It's not just a matter of necessity — it's also being facilitated by the current situation."

Education will continue to have a strong impact on tablet performance in 3Q as the number of projects to digitize schools expands. The outlook for 4Q and beyond remains conservative after two quarters of strong shipments and the imminent impact of the economic downturn on consumer spending.



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