Global tablet plus 2-in-1 shipments slipped to 50.4 million units in the first calendar quarter of 2014 (1Q14).
The total represents a sequential decline of 35.7% from the high-volume holiday quarter and just 3.9% growth over the same period a year ago.
This is according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.
The slowdown was felt across operating systems and screen sizes and likely points to an even more challenging year ahead for the category, IDC said.
“The rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever longer periods of time were both contributing factors to a weaker-than-anticipated quarter for tablets and 2-in-1s,” said IDC’s Tom Mainelli.
“In addition, commercial growth has not been robust enough to offset the slowing of consumer shipments.”
Apple maintained its lead in the worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 market, shipping 16.4 million units, although down from 26.0 million units in the previous quarter and well below its total of 19.5 million units in the first quarter of 2013.
Despite the contraction, the company saw its share of the market slip only modestly to 32.5%, down from the previous quarter’s share of 33.2%.
Samsung once again grew its worldwide share, increasing from 17.2% last quarter to 22.3%. Rounding out the top five were ASUS (5%), Lenovo (4.1%), and Amazon (1.9%).
“With roughly two-thirds share, Android continues to dominate the market,” said research analyst, Jitesh Ubrani.
“Although its share of the market remains small, Windows devices continue to gain traction thanks to sleeper hits like the Asus T100, whose low cost and 2-in-1 form factor appeal to those looking for something that’s ‘good enough’.”