iPad’s hot streak shows no sign of cooling

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2018 iPad and Apple Pencil
The 9.7-inch iPad released this fall helped keep Apple on top of the tablet market.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

There was a time the glory days of the iPad seemed over. Sales declined quarter after quarter. Then the iPad Pro line debuted, and now Apple has seen six straight quarters of increasing tablet shipments.

That’s not true for rival device makers. Samsung tablets haven’t experienced a quarterly shipment increase since at least 2016.  

There were 11.5 million iPad shipped last quarter. That’s up just 0.9 percent year over year. But it was still enough to propel Apple to 34.9 percent of the global tablet market in the second quarter of this year, according to market-research firm IDC. That’s up significantly from its 29.9 percent share of the market in Q2 2017.

“The launch of a newer iPad towards the end of the first quarter, combined with improvements to the OS and the renewed push into Education, seems to be paying off for the company,” wrote UDC.

Samsung was a distant second in the tablet market with just 5 million devices sold. That’s down 16.1 percent, and good for only 15.1 percent of the global market. 

“Samsung’s refresh of the Galaxy Tab S-series, announced on August 1 as the Galaxy Tab S4, will boost Samsung’s shipments in the detachables category,” opined IDC. “However, this may do little to boost Samsung’s share in the long run as it faces potential competition from Chrome-based detachables.”

This research firm divides tablets up into two categories. Slates are devices used without keyboards, while Detachables are designed to to have a keyboard attached. It’s the difference between the Apple’s iPad and iPad Pro lines.

Increasing sales of iPad and iPad Pro kept Apple on top in Q2 2018.
Increasing sales of iPad and iPad Pro kept Apple on top in Q2 2018.
Chart: IDC

And the rest

Huawei held third place in tablet shipments last quarter, and was the only maker besides Apple to see an increase. It shipped 3.4 million units, up 7.7 percent, for 10.3 percent of the world market, according to IDC.

Huawei’s strength is mostly in China. “The majority of these shipments continue to be in Asia/Pacific, excluding Japan, which accounted for nearly 50% the company’s total,” said the market-research firm. “Although Huawei’s detachables shipments remain limited, they grew more than 200% in the latest quarter.

The remaining two companies in the top 5 are Lenovo and Amazon, with 2.0 million and 1.6 million devices shipped, respectively.