iPad dominates tablet market again, even as sales drop in Q3

The worldwide tablet market is looking more than ever like the PC market, IDC says, with the top 5 companies capturing a larger share.

Worldwide tablet sales fell to 36.4 million in the third quarter of 2018, according to IDC, representing an 8.6 percent year-over-year decline. Apple continued to dominate the market, even though iPad sales also dropped year-over-year.

Apple sold 9.7 million tablets in Q3, according to IDC -- nearly twice as many as its nearest competitor Samsung sold. That represents a 6.1 percent decline from the 10.3 million Apple sold a year prior. Still, Apple's market share crept up to 26.6 percent. Apple managed to perform slightly better than the market overall in part thanks to the $329 iPad with Pencil support that it launched in late March, IDC says.

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"The tablet market is more like the traditional PC market than ever before," IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said in a statement. "Not only do these markets move in sync with each other, but the decreasing margins and overall decline, particularly in slate tablets, has led to the top 5 companies capturing a larger share as many small vendors have exited the space or simply treat the tablet market with a much lower priority."

While Apple recently updated the iPad Pro, the market is clearly less of a priority for Apple, given how little revenue it brings in for the Cupertino company relative to the rest of its products.

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Behind Apple, Samsung held the No. 2 position in Q3, taking 14.6 percent market share. Samsung sold 5.3 million units for the quarter -- an 11.4 percent year-over-year decline.

Amazon rose up to No. 3, taking 12 percent of the market -- even though its sales were effectively flat year-over-year.

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Huawei actually managed to grow its tablet business by more than 7 percent, shipping 3.2 million for the quarter. Its gains came from Europe and Latin America, IDC said. Lenovo sold 2.3 million units, with sales dropping nearly 25 percent year-over-year.

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