Apple remains on top of tablet market in Q4 despite declines, iPad Pro model penetration just 10%

Research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics are out today with their latest reports on the worldwide tablet market share and both have Apple remaining in the top position by quite a large margin, despite overall declines for the category.

With Apple reporting 13.1 million units sold in its fiscal Q1 report this week (down 19% from 16.1 million units last year), that puts the company in the top spot for sales during the important holiday quarter last year. However, it did experience a larger decline in shipments compared to number two Samsung, according to the data from Strategy Analytics.

In comparison, Samsung recorded 8.1 million units shipped during the fourth quarter (down 10% from 9 million units last year):


IDC has similar numbers for Samsung and Apple, but puts at number 3 with 5.2 million units, followed by Lenovo (up 15%) and Huawei (up 43.5%) both recording gains during the quarter:


Compare those numbers with between a 9% (Strategy Analytics) and 20% (IDC) drop for the tablet market as a whole.

While Apple and Samsung focused on larger, premium tablets like the iPad Pro, Strategy Analytics says that allowed for gains by smaller manufacturers like Lenovo and Huawei offering less expensive alternatives. Adding to that, IDC notes that while Apple’s iPad Pro line was the company’s flagship product last year for tablets, it actually made up a small portion of unit sales accounting for approximately only 1 in every 10 iPads sold:

Apple’s venerable hold on the tablet market is yet to be challenged although the company is not immune to overall market challenges, declining 18.8% in 4Q16. The iPad Pro lineup made up only a small portion of overall shipments as the iPad Air 2 and Mini tablets continued to account for the majority of the shipments for Apple. For every 10 slate tablets shipped, Apple only sold 1 iPad Pro tablet.

Strategy Analytics adds the results for Apple and the iPad Pro during the quarter reversed a 5 year trend as “ASPs fell 4% year-on-year to $423 as consumers flocked to lower-priced slate models and away from higher priced iPad Pro models.”

And lastly, a look at how the year played out in 2016 from IDC:


Apple is expected to be releasing updates to its iPad line over the coming year with the latest intel pointing to a new second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a low-cost 9.7 inch iPad, and a new iPad Pro with a 10.5 inch display.

Yesterday we reported that Apple bumped Samsung from the top spot in worldwide smartphone share with record iPhone sales during Q4.


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