iPad and Amazon are the big winners in tablet sales

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The new iPad Air adds support for Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard.
The new 10.5-inch iPad Air is selling well.
Photo: Apple

Just two companies saw increased tablet sales in the second quarter of this year. Both Apple and Amazon enjoyed strong improvement, while all their rivals dropped.

Apple further increased its dominance of this market, as iPad now makes up 38.1% of all tablets sold worldwide, gaining 4 percentage points year over year.

iPad tablet/laptops selling well

There were 12.3 million iOS tablets shipped during Q2, according to market-research firm IDC. That’s an increase of 6.1% over the same period of 2018. This is the third quarter in a row of improving iPad shipments.

Apple doesn’t reveal how many tablets it sells, but does break out its revenue from this type of computer. The company made $5.0 billion in Q2 from iPad, up 8% YoY.

IDC classifies models with the Apple Smart Connector as Detachables: tablets designed to be used with a removable keyboard. These devices — especially the iPad Pro — are frequently used as laptops and go head-to-head with the Microsoft Surface line. “The launch of the detachable iPad Air helped Apple to double its detachable tablet shipments,” noted IDC. The 10.5-inch iPad Air that debuted this spring is the first Air with the Smart Connector.

But news wasn’t as good for Apple’s more basic tablets, which these analysts classify as Slates. “Slate iPads declined 7.5% year over year as the new iPads were unable to maintain the same momentum of upgrades as those launched in 2018,” they said.

Amazon, Samsung, and the rest

Amazon also had a good quarter, with shipments of Fire tablets increasing a whopping 46% year over year. Still, its numbers started out small, as it moved from 1.6 million shipments in Q2 2018 to 2.4 million in the same quarter of 2019. That was enough to put it in fourth place in the global tablet market, according to IDC.

Samsung was in second place during the April-through-June period. It shipped 4.9 million units, down 3.1%. But its fortunes might change, thanks to this week’s debut of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, a high-end Detachable.

Huawei was in third place with 3.3 million tablets shipped, down 6.5%, while Lenovo rounded out the top 5 vendors with 1.5 million units shipped last quarter, a 6.9% YoY drop.