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Budget tablets a rare highlight as broader market shrinks

Detachable tablets like two-in-one computers just aren't as hot anymore, according to an IDC study.


The iPad Pro may have sparked some excitement because it's a new Apple product, but the budget tablets won out in the second quarter. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Remember when tablets were the hottest pieces of tech? Those days are long gone. 

Tablet shipments declined by 3.4 percent over a year ago in the second quarter, with the lone bright spot a focus on tablets that didn't completely destroy your wallet, according to IDC

As a result, Apple was a big winner in the period, thanks largely to the March introduction of a newly refreshed 9.7-inch iPad, which also got a $70 cut in price in the US. It's no surprise that Apple is the leader since the company posted on Tuesday its first gain in iPad sales in 14 quarters. Samsung held steady as the No. 2 player, while Huawei was third. 

Amazon, which sells a family of budget Fire tablets using a radically customized version of Android, was No. 4, but saw the biggest growth among the leaders. 

Apple also released a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro in the quarter, but it's unclear how well that did. IDC also said that two-in-one touchscreen computers with detachable keyboards, which were once also popular, have slowed down considerably.