Four of the Top Five Tablet Makers Enjoyed Strong Growth Last Quarter

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Almost all of the biggest tablet makers saw increases in Q3, with Apple, Amazon, and Huawei enjoying double-digit growth. Lenovo grew almost as well, leaving just Samsung with a year-over-year decline.

Although market-analysis companies like IDC point out that there was a decline in global shipments of tablets, virtually all of the downward movement was among small device makers in Asia. Just counting the top five companies, shipments last quarter increased  from 24.1 million to 26.7, an 11% jump.

Results by Company

Apple maintained its long-held title as world’s biggest tablet maker, with 10.3 million units shipped during the July-September quarter giving it 25.8 of the world total. That’s an 11% increase over the same period of last year.

Revenue increased by 14% to $4.8 billion. Revenue growth outstripping shipment growth indicates increasing sales of the more expensive iPad Pro models.

Samsung held onto second place, despite a 7.9% decline in shipments to 6.0 million. According to IDC, Samsung’s “detachable tablets account for less than 10% of its shipments in the quarter. These high-priced, halo devices have led to Samsung’s premium image but the company still relies heavily on the lower cost Tab A and E series.”

Amazon had the strongest year-over-year growth: 38.7%. If it continues to grow this strongly, it will surpass Samsung in the next year. Amazon’s strategy is offering tablets with very little profit margins in order to bring customers into its retail ecosystem. This enabled it to ship 4.4 million devices in the July-Sept. period.

Huawei and Lenovo tied for fourth place with 3 million devices shipped, but Huawei had the strongest growth: 18.8% vs. 8.9%. “both companies have maintained a similar strategy of focusing on low-cost devices in Asia/Pacific and Western Europe,” according to IDC.

Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t report how many Surface tablets it ships, but IDC estimates the number isn’t high enough to put the company in the top five makers.


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