Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo helped the tablet market set a new record in Q4 2020

Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo helped the tablet market set a new record in Q4 2020
While Apple's incredible smartphone market growth experienced in the last three months of 2020 understandably dominated the public conversation on the heels of the company's latest quarterly earnings report, the tech giant's industry-leading tablet lineup certainly deserves to spend a little time in the limelight as well.

After losing precious ground to the rich and expansive Android-based slate portfolio of arch-rival Samsung during Q3 2020, the similarly wide-ranging iPad family gained no less than 5.5 million unit shipments between October and December. That represented a year-on-year volume boost of 40 percent, to a whopping 19.2 million units and dominant 36 percent slice of the global pie.

In second place, Samsung enjoyed pretty much identical growth from a percentage perspective, jumping from 7.1 million unit shipments back in Q4 2019 to 9.9 million at the very end of 2020, which was obviously enough to keep Amazon, Lenovo, and Huawei at bay.

The market's number three and four vendors actually experienced even higher 54 and 125 (!!!) percent boosts in sales respectively between Q4 2019 and Q4 2020, while Huawei dipped 24 percent for fairly obvious reasons. Naturally, that means the industry as a whole had a tremendous holiday quarter, setting a new all-time record of 52.8 million unit shipments, up a colossal 54 percent from the 34.3 million tablets sold worldwide in the October - December 2019 period.

There's no denying that the coronavirus pandemic crucially contributed to the resurgence of what was starting to feel like a slowly dying market, which gained no less than 28 percent for the entirety of 2020 to end the year with a grand total of 160.6 million unit shipments.

While Apple easily dominated the full-year vendor chart as well, Samsung and Lenovo managed to outpace Cupertino's growth rate, with the former company in particular looking like a bigger and bigger threat for the long-time market leader.

Tablets also had a solid contribution to the overall surge of worldwide PC sales in both Q4 2020 and 2020 in its entirety, which is easily evidenced by HP and Dell's underwhelming total numbers compared to Lenovo, Apple, and Samsung. Google-powered Chromebooks had an incredible year as well, led by HP and Lenovo, the latter of which amazingly improved its Q4 shipment score by 1766 percent (!!!!!!!) between 2019 and 2020.

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