Amazon, Huawei, and Lenovo all managed to gain ground on dominant rivals Apple and Samsung in a tablet market that continued to slide year over year in the fourth quarter.
According to new data from Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments dropped 9 percent year over year in the holiday quarter, dipping from 69.6 million units in 2015 to 63.5 million units. The losses came primarily from negative shipment growth from dominant player Apple and Samsung, which both saw double-digit declines in the period. Apple, which still led the market, saw shipments drop 19 percent year over year to 13.1 million, while rival Samsung’s shipments dipped 10 percent to 8.1 million.
However, not all tablet players lost.
Competitors Amazon, Lenovo, and Huawei all made double-digit shipment gains in the quarter. Though it trailed in terms of overall shipments with just 3.4 million, Huawei made the most gains year over year with a 49 percent increase from 2.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Amazon also gained substantial ground with a 21 percent increase in shipments to hit 4.2 million, while Lenovo came in with 16 percent growth to reach 3.7 million shipments.
“Amazon has broken out of its unique seasonal patterns with the majority of its tablet sales occurring in Q4 to a more balanced approach all throughout the year, which speaks to the success of its low-cost, feature-rich Fire 7,” Peter King, Strategy Analytics’ service director for Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies commented. “While Amazon’s play is to bring more users into its ecosystem for incremental revenue, we believe other technology companies can mimic this success as the tablet still holds strong entertainment value.”
By operating system, Strategy Analytics indicated Apple iOS shipments came in below projections, while Android shipments dipped 10 percent year over year and Windows shipments grew 19 percent from the prior year.
Strategy Analytics also noted average selling prices for iOS devices also fell for the first time in five quarters, dropping to $423.
“2-in-1 Tablets are a hot market segment but price remains a key factor in consumer behaviors around PC and Tablet replacement devices, which is evident in lower shipments of iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 devices in the quarter,” Eric Smith, senior analyst for Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies added. “Apple cut prices on its iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 models but introduced no new iPad Pro models or pricing during the quarter, leading to 4 percent ASP decline year on year. Microsoft has not released a major refresh of its Surface Pro or Surface Book devices in over a year, which has given its OEM partners and other mobile-first companies a chance to catch up with high-performing, lower cost Surface clones.”
This story has been altered in the fourth paragraph to reflect corrections from Strategy Analytics around the placement of Amazon, Lenovo, and Huawei. The data has not changed, but the company names were previously incorrectly assigned to the numbers in the original release.