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Tablet, smartphone reports offer few bright spots for Lenovo

Taking notes on Lenovo Yoga tablet

Aug, 3 2017, 1:13 PM

A bright spot for Lenovo - its tablet sales - is a great deal dimmer based on sales in the second quarter. Meanwhile, new data on smartphone shipments shows that Lenovo remains outside the top five sellers.

Lenovo lost both market share and sales in the April-June quarter, according to research firm Gartner. Overall tablet shipments declined as well, at some 3.4 percent, year-over-year. But Lenovo's shipments fell even more, down 14.6 percent to 2.2 million compared to 2016.

Its corresponding market share slipped to 5.7 percent from 6.5 percent.

Amazon and Huawei, meanwhile, surged past Lenovo into fourth and third place respectively.And No. 1 Apple showed strong growth while Samsung at No. 2 was relatively flat.

IDC's survey includes slate tablets plus detachable tablets.

The tablet news comes as Lenovo has lost its grip on the No. 1 rank in global PC sales and as its server business looks to regain momentum under a new leadership team. Its top North America executive left the company as of July 31, the latest in a host of management changes made in recent months.

Tablet sector troubles are wide spread

In its earnings report for the first quarter of this year, Lenovo had cited detachables as a bright spot. And IDC was not hyper critical of Lenovo in the second quarter report, noting:

"Despite the annual decline, Lenovo has managed to slowly increase the share of detachable tablets within its product portfolio, which tend to have a higher average selling prices (ASPs). A low-cost strategy focused on Asia has worked so far, but that strategy is starting to lose its legs."

Apple sales surged 14.7 percent to 11.4 million, increasing its market share to a whopping 30.1 percent from 25.4 percent. Samsung was unchanged at 6 million.

Overall, IDC remains skeptical about the entire tablet sector.

"Once touted as the savior of the market, detachable tablets also declined in the second quarter as consumers waited in anticipation of product refreshes from high-profile vendors like Apple and Microsoft," IDC wrote.

"However, with new product launches towards the end of the second quarter, the detachable market is expected to maintain a stronger position in the second half of the year."

Smartphone sales sluggish

Smartphone sales for the quarter also declined. After what IDC called a "higher than expected" performance in the first quarter, second-quarter shipments declined year over year to 341.6 million, a drop of 1.3 percent. Sales were 0.8 percent lower than in the first quarter.

Lenovo didn't crack the top five as its smartphone business continues to lag behind the market leaders.

And that may mean bad news.

"In my opinion, the biggest change in the second quarter is the size of the contraction among the 'Others' outside of the top 5 OEMs," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers, in the report.

"It's no secret that the smartphone market is a very challenging segment for companies to maintain or grow share, especially as already low average selling prices declined by another 4.3% in 2016. The smaller, more localized vendors will continue to struggle, especially as the leading volume drivers build out their portfolio into new markets and price segments."

The company did say smartphone sales increased 11.3 million outside China.

Samsung and Apple remain the dominant players, according to the report.

Lenovo operates one of its two global headquarters in the Triangle. The other is in Beijing.





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