Covid-19 boosts tablet sales in Q1 2021


Global tablet shipments and sales increased rapidly year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, thanks to increased demand for devices to support remote working due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Separate reports from Canalys and IDC indicates the estimated level of increase is the highest since 2013. They both described the growth as “outstanding”.

Canalys estimated a 51.8 per cent growth to 39.7 million units shipped in Q1, while IDC reported a 55.2  per cent rise to 39.9 million shipments.

In terms of vendors, Canalys reported Apple maintaining its lead at the top of the market with a 38.2 per cent share, followed by Samsung with 20 per cent; Lenovo – 9.5 per cent; Amazon – 8.7 per cent and Huawei – 5.4 per cent.

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So while Huawei has dropped out of the top five smartphone shipments, it maintained its place in the top five tablet shipment at the fifth position in terms of market share.

But even though Huawei made it to the top five in tablet shipment, its share dipped six per cent compared to that of Q1 2020, and that is how Lenovo displace it in the top three.

IDC’s preliminary results had the top vendors in the same order but estimated Apple with a smaller lead over Samsung and Huawei with a less sharp decline, but still falling to fifth.

Commenting on its report, Canalys research analyst Himani Mukka said: “The tablet market continues to defy expectations with the strength of its comeback.”

Himani Mukka noted that “…vendors are seeing elevated demand as the need for affordable computing power and connectivity persists.”

According to her, at a time when the overall PC market is facing a supply crunch, the vendors that have strong tablet offerings have been able to squeeze out even greater gains from the increased demand for screen access and remote productivity brought about by the pandemic.


Indeed, in Ghana, due to loads of churches holding virtual church services and several organizations holding more virtual meetings than physical ones, the use of tablets has seen considerable increase in the West African country.

Data from Statcounter on tablet market share in Ghana for the 12 month period between April 2020 and 2021, indicates as follows: Samsung sits on top with 44.8%; Apple – 16.6%; Tecno – 13.18%; Itel – 4.76% and Huawei is also trailing in Ghana with 4.09% market share.

Meanwhile, a group of unknown tablet brands in use in Ghana command some 10.92% market share, ahead of Itel and Huawei.

Beyond the pandemic, the analyst company added it expected the upward trajectory of tablets to continue to support digital transformation in business and education.


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