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Entertainment, e-learning boost EMEA tablet market

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The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) tablet market performed positively in the second quarter of 2020, with shipments growing by 23.8% year-on-year (YOY), for the first time in six years.

This is according to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC’s) latest Tablet Tracker, which shows the tablet market in the region reached 11.9 million units, posting the strongest growth since 2013, when the market had not yet reached maturity.

This as global smartphone shipments are expected to drop nearly 10% in 2020.

The consumer segment tablets were the main growth 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, according to IDC.

"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," says 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, notes the report.

"The CEE and MEA tablet markets in 2Q 20 performed much stronger than predicted," says Stefania Lorenz, associate VP at IDC 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."

In 3Q20, the EMEA tablet market is expected to jump 10.9% YOY and close 2020 with 3.7% YOY growth. The growing number of devices per household is expected to help maintain a buoyant third calendar quarter, notes the report.

“Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions throughout the region, consumers remain cautious in general – income that would otherwise have been spent on holidays or other activities has been allocated to home entertainment and e-learning, which has benefited tablets,” says the report.

In terms of vendor performance, Samsung retained the lead in EMEA, with a solid performance across the whole region, while Apple remained in second position, driven by the popularity of the iPad among consumers in Western Europe and its compelling education solutions.

Huawei retained third place, with the vendor aggressively pushing its tablet devices through promotional campaigns and bundling offers, while Lenovo's slate devices in the education sector have seen growing traction, securing fourth place for the vendor.

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