The global tablet market saw more muted growth in the first quarter, but the devices still out-shipped notebooks, Canalys estimates.
Growth in tablet sales slowed to 21%, with around 50.8 million units shipped, according to the firm. This represents around 41% of the client PC market, compared to 38% for notebooks.
Tablet shipments grew a strong 74% across Greater China, and doubled in the Middle East. Shipments grew at more modest rates across all other markets - except in North America, where a decline in iPad shipments in the US caused overall sales to fall.
Worldwide, iPad shipments fell 16% year-on-year to 16.4 million, Canalys estimates. But Apple maintained its post at the top of the client PC market.
“The fall in iPad shipments in Q1 was the sharpest ever,” said Canalys Senior Analyst Tim Coulling. “Apple took action during the quarter to run down its iPad inventory, a smart move as tablet stock in the channel rose due to strong seasonal shipments in the previous quarter.”
He said Canalys does not believe Apple's Q1 performance points to a longer-term decline in the tablet segment.