The global pandemic was bad for many industries. One sector it was good for was the worldwide tablet market, led by Apple’s iPad. According to a new report by Counterpoint Research, Apple sold a third more iPads in 2020 than it did in 2019. In the first quarter of 2021, it expanded its share to a massive 37% of the global tablet market — including hitting an all-times sales record in Japan.
“The basic iPad models accounted for 56% of the overall iPad shipments in Q1 2021,” said Senior Analyst Liz Lee said. “The iPad Air and iPad Pro series came next with 19% and 18% shares, respectively. Since consumers are constantly concerned about prices and portability, the latest iPad 8 emerged as the top-selling model. Launched in October 2020, the iPad Air 4 ranked second on the bestseller list as it was a huge hit with consumers looking for cost-effectiveness as well as high specifications.”
A booming time for tablets
Overall, the tablet market grew by a 19% in 2020. That’s impressive, although less than the growth the iPad experienced in the year. Apple’s booming growth in this area can partly be attributed to the pandemic. As the world worked and learned from home, tablets experienced a big growth in sales as people bought dedicated devices for carrying out these tasks. Counterpoint also suggests that big players like Apple and Samsung reaped the rewards of some smaller players getting out of the tablet market, as well as Huawei losing market share due to the United States sales ban.
It’s worth noting that these figures do not reveal the sales impact of Apple’s new iPad Pro, which was announced on April 20, 2021. Its big selling point was the Apple M1 chip, making it the first iPad not have an A-series processor.
Not everything is looking quite so rosy for Q2, though. Analyst Liz Lee notes that, “Apple is currently grappling with supply chain constraints such as chip shortages and production issues related to the Liquid Retina XDR panel.” However, while sales may decline in Q2, Counterpoint expects them to “soar” once again in Q3. After that is Apple’s always-important holiday quarter. The TL;DR version? Things are going great for iPad.