Tablet sales drop for the 12th consecutive quarter from July through September
Shipments of tablets declined 5.4% in the third quarter on a year-over-year basis, according to the latest data from IDC. That marks the 12th consecutive quarter of declining shipments for the sector. 40 million units were shipped during the three months that ended on the last day of September. That compares with the 42.3 million slates that were delivered during the third quarter of 2016.
Leading the way with 10.3 million iPad tablets shipped in the quarter, was Apple. The 11.4% year-over-year gain in shipments helped Apple increase its market share in the tablet industry from 21.9% to 25.8%. Behind Apple was Samsung. Relying on its lower priced Tab A and Tab E models, Samsung shipped 6 million units in the third quarter, a decline of 7.9% from last year's three-month period. The manufacturer still has 15% of the tablet market.
Thanks to its strategy of using aggressive pricing, Amazon's shipments from July through September soared by 38.7%. That means that Amazon shipped 4.4 million slabs during those three months, giving it a 10.1% market share as far as tablets are concerned. Fourth place Huawei also had a strong quarter, with deliveries of tablets up 18.8% year-over-year. The 3 million slates that Huawei shipped means that the company now owns 7.5% of the market. And rounding out the top five is Lenovo, just a tad behind Huawei with a 7.4% slice of the global tablet pie. Lenovo also shipped 3 million units in the quarter, a gain of 8.9% from the 2016 period.
Eventually, the tablet market will bottom out. But with the size of handset screens getting larger, there is some cannibalization of tablet sales. While new innovations have been limited, there is speculation that Apple will equip its 2018 iPad Pro tablets with the TrueDepth Camera and Face ID feature used on the Apple iPhone X. That might help Apple continue to grow its tablet shipments next year.