In the first quarter of 2022, according to the latest quarterly tablet tracker report released by the International Data Corporation (IDC), China’s tablet market shipments were about 6.76 million units, a year-on-year increase of 8.1%. As it adapts to the new market situation, global tablet shipments in the first quarter of 2022 fell by 2.1% year-on-year to 39.13 million units. While the global tablet market has declined year-on-year for three consecutive quarters, China’s mobile phone market has fallen by 14.1% year-on-year in the first quarter, and the PC market has only grown by 0.1% year-on-year. Only China’s tablet market has maintained significant growth despite the trend.
Guo Tianxiang, senior analyst at IDC China, said: “There is no doubt that the rebound of the epidemic and the stricter lockdown policies in various places have significantly boosted Chinese consumers’ demand for tablets. Shanghai and its surrounding areas are also under lockdown. It is not the main area for tablet computer material production and complete machine assembly, so it can be said that it has almost no impact on the supply of products, and it also ensures that the supply side can fully meet the sudden market demand of consumers.”
In fact, the severe impact of the epidemic on China’s tablet computer market is actually a “double-edged sword”: it is a great boost for the consumer market, but it is “worse” for the commercial market:
China’s consumer tablet market in the first quarter of 2022: The consumer market shipped about 6.21 million units, a year-on-year increase of 17%. Although a large number of consumers have purchased tablet computers in the past two years and are still in their use cycle, the household retention rate of tablet computers in China will only be 19% in 2021, which is still low compared to developed countries such as Europe and the United States. However, the specific situation in different parts of the country is still different: the household retention rate of tablet computers in first-tier cities such as Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing, where the epidemic is more severe this time, is close to 80% and tends to be saturated, so the market performance is relatively stable. Shandong, Jiangsu, Hebei and other major education provinces and the northeastern region where the epidemic has continued to be the main focus of this market demand growth, indicating that there is still a lot of room for growth in the vast non-first-tier urban areas in the future.
China’s tablet PC commercial market in the first quarter of 2022: The commercial market shipments were only 540,000 units, a year-on-year decrease of 42%. The severity of the epidemic and the lockdowns in various places have made the already severe commercial market more difficult. A large number of procurement projects in the first half of this year were delayed or even cancelled. The expected deterioration of the economic environment throughout the year also makes it difficult to judge whether these delayed or cancelled projects will resume in the second half of the year, and even how many procurement projects originally scheduled for the second half of the year can be retained. From a pessimistic point of view, the commercial market situation in 2022 may not be as good as in 2020 when the epidemic started. After all, there will be a large “census” procurement project in 2020. IDC predicts that the commercial tablet market in China will enter a cold winter in 2022.
As Apple’s out-of-stock situation gradually improves, and manufacturers update their product lines or launch new products one after another, discounts are reduced, and the average price of China’s tablet market will rebound significantly in the first quarter of 2022. However, due to the lack of product innovation, the decline in attractiveness to consumers and the increase of industry participants, the market competition continues to intensify. In the upcoming “618” mid-year promotion, “price war” will be inevitable. The downturn in the economic environment has led to a continuous reduction in consumer spending. “Cost-effectiveness” will become the main selling point of new products in the second half of the year, and products below 2,000 yuan will become the focus. It is expected that the average price of tablet PCs in China will drop significantly in the future.
Although the Chinese tablet market has performed well as a whole, driven by the epidemic. However, IDC believes that everyone should not be too optimistic and need to be vigilant about future development:
- Generally speaking, the first quarter of the year is the weakest season for tablet PC demand, especially in March after the Spring Festival. From the release of new products around May, the market demand began to heat up until the “618” in June reached the first peak of annual demand. However, driven by the epidemic this year, the market demand surged in February and March, and we should be wary of whether the user demand will be overdrawn in advance and then “618”.
- At present, other traditional terminal markets have shown sluggish market demand. As a tablet computer that is not a necessity in people’s lives, we should be alert to whether consumer spending will decrease after the epidemic eases, whether the growth trend can continue, and whether market demand will appear immediately. decline.