Amazon tablet shipments grew by 99.4 percent in 2016

While Apple and Samsung both dominated the tablet landscape in 2016, it was Amazon that saw the biggest annual growth.

Amazon Fire HD8

Amazon Fire HD8

Amazon posted a phenomenal 99.4 percent annual growth in its tablet shipments for 2016, totaling 11 million units, claims a report by research firm TrendForce.

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But while the huge growth seen by Amazon was enough to put the company in third place for top tablet brands and giving it a 7 percent market share, it wasn't enough for the company to challenge the dominance of Apple and Samsung, who commanded first and second place on the list with 27 and 17.2 percent market share respectively.

Overall, global tablet shipments fell only by 6.6 percent over 2016 to 157.4 million units, with total shipments from branded vendors beating expectations as a result of strong year-end holiday sales.

Amazon tablet shipments grew by 99.4 percent in 2016
TrendForce

"Together, major tablet brands posted a marginal decline in their total shipments for 2016," said Anita Wang, TrendForce notebook analyst. "Chief shipment contributors included Apple and Amazon. The former enjoyed strong iPad sales in the fourth-quarter busy season, and the latter nearly doubled its annual shipments. Other brands such as Huawei, Lenovo and Acer also expanded their shipments despite market headwinds."

TrendForce believes that tablet shipments will continue to fall in 2017, from 157.4 million units in 2016 to 147.8 million in 2017, a fall of 6.1 percent. iPad shipments are estimated to fall by 6 to 8 percent annually to around 40 million units, and Samsung shipments dropping by 8 to 10 percent annually to around 25 million units.

Microsoft, which held onto the number 6 slot in 2016 is expected to fall to 7th place as the company experiences panel shortages for the Surface Pro.

"The decision by the major panel supplier Samsung Display (SDC) to reduce its LCD tablet panel production, along with the limited Oxide TFT capacity, will work against Microsoft as it tries to secure panel supply for the Surface Pro series," said Wang.

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