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Tablet market weak in Q3, but Apple's iPad Pro holds and Amazon's Fire sale boosts share

Apple is moving enough units of the iPad Pro to keep pricing and revenue stable as Amazon's Prime Day leads to a tablet market share boost. Android gets squeezed by Windows.

Tablet sales fell again in the third quarter with IDC tracking a unit decline of 14.7 percent, but Apple's iPad Pro appears to be getting enough traction to hold the revenue line.

Reports from IDC and Strategy Analytics indicate that the tablet market continues to struggle. IDC noted that low-cost devices from the likes of RCA have flooded the market and created a perception that tablets are disposable.

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Overall, the tablet market is in decline, but has some notable shifts. Consider the following points from IDC and Strategy Analytics:

  • Apple's iPad Pro is getting the marketing love, but the iPad Mini and iPad Air were two-thirds of shipments for the company. Apple tablet shipments fell 6.2 percent from a year ago, but iPad Pro held revenue flat for the quarter. Strategy Analytics said that the iPad Pro is helping Apple recover in the tablet market as prices were 6 percent higher in the third quarter and units fell 6 percent.
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  • Amazon's Prime Day led to a surge in the tablet rankings. Amazon heavily discounted its Fire tablets and the bet paid off.
  • Samsung remains No. 2, but the TabPro S hasn't gained traction. According IDC, Samsung's tablet share hasn't taken a hit over the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.
  • Android tablet share is getting squeezed by 2-in-1 Windows tablets, according to Strategy Analytics. Android vendors shipped 30.1 million tablets in the third quarter, down 17 percent from a year ago.
  • Windows tablet shipments were up 25 percent in the third quarter to 7.3 million units, said Strategy Analytics. Note that IDC continues the 2-in-1 devices as PCs. For instance, Lenovo's Yoga Book is a PC to IDC.
  • White box tablet vendors like RCA dominate in market share.