As Apple continued to dominate the tablet market in the final quarter of 2017, a new study finds that Amazon ousted Samsung to claim the second-largest share of the segment during the latest holiday shopping season.
The latest analysis from research firm IDC found that Apple shipped 13.2 million tablets in the final three months of the year. Although that represented a slight increase from the same period in 2016, the iPad maker bolstered its market share over that span from 24.3 percent to 26.6 percent.
Amazon, meanwhile, saw its shipments climb by 50 percent during that timeframe from 5.2 million to 7.7 million. The e-commerce giant bolstered its share of the tablet market from less than 10 percent to more than 15 percent.
IDC suggested that the company was able to best Samsung, whose tablet shipments fell from 8 million to 7 million, in part by offering steep holiday discounts.
“The low-cost tablets have been quite effective as shopping catalogs for Amazon’s online storefront,” analysts wrote. “And in recent quarters, the company has taken things a step further by including its voice assistant, Alexa, in the latest tablets and by expanding to new markets around the world.”
Samsung, meanwhile, faced pressure from competitors for its slate tablets, although its detachable devices saw continued growth.
Two Chinese tech companies — Huawei and Lenovo — accounted for 7.1 percent and 6.2 percent of the fourth quarter tablet market, respectively. But while Huawei’s sales jumped from 3.2 million to 3.5 million year-over-year, Lenovo’s dropped from 3.5 million to 3.1 million.
The IDC report found that slate tablets shipped in large volumes but were largely relegated “to simple media consumption devices.” The detachable market, meanwhile, showed robust growth in the final quarter of the year but climbed by just 1.6 percent in the full calendar year.
The analysis suggested that many consumers and businesses were waiting for the launch of forthcoming detachable devices — leaving older models on store shelves.
“To date, much of the trajectory of the detachable market has been attributed to Microsoft and Apple pushing their wares in the U.S.,” IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said in a statement. “However, continued success of this category hinges on the willingness of other PC vendors to participate and more importantly, consumers from other countries to adopt the new form factor over convertible PCs.”