What comes to mind when I say smartphones, or tablet? Chances are that Android, or iOS, or Apple or Samsung were the first words to spring to your mind. Did you perhaps think of Amazon? Well, I didn’t. Which makes it all the more ironical when you stop to consider the fact that Amazon posted the greatest growth of tablet shipments in 2016, easily leaving Apple and Samsung behind in terms of annual growth.
The figures come from a report by research firm TrendForce, which highlighted some interesting points regarding tablet shipments last year. Apparently, Amazon posted a 99.4 percent annual growth and shipped a total of 11 million devices. An interesting point to note, is the fact that despite all these huge growth figures, Amazon still lagged behind market leaders Apple and Samsung.
While Apple occupied the first slot with a 27 percent market share, Samsung was a remote second with a 17.2 percent market share. Amazon came third, managing to snag 7 percent of the market. Together, the trio of Apple, Samsung and Amazon managed to divide almost half of the tablet market between them.
Taking an eagle’s eye view of the picture, global tablet shipments marked a drop of around 6.6 percent. Number of tablets shipped hovered around 157.4 million units. Big names like Apple and Samsung weren’t having a very good year until the holidays arrived, which boosted their sales — allowing them to beat previously set expectations. Lenovo, Huawei, Microsoft and Asus rounded off the top 7 while other vendors, managed to claim almost 31 percent of the market share.
Speaking on the topic, TrendForce notebook analyst Anita Wang said:
Together, major tablet brands posted a marginal decline in their total shipments for 2016. Chief shipment contributors included Apple and Amazon. The former enjoyed strong iPad sales in the fourth-quarter busy season, and the latter nearly doubled its annual shipments. Other brands such as Huawei, Lenovo and Acer also expanded their shipments despite market headwinds.
Meanwhile, the negative growth of the tablet market is expected to continue. TrendForce expects shipments to fall by 6 percent, from 157.4 million units in 2016 to 147.8 million in 2017. While iPad shipments could mark a decline of 6 to 8 percent, shipments of Samsung tablets could also decrease by 8 to 10 percent. Meanwhile, despite a strong showing by its Surface Pro range, Microsoft is expected to slip down to 7th from the 6th position.
The decision by the major panel supplier Samsung Display (SDC) to reduce its LCD tablet panel production, along with the limited Oxide TFT capacity, will work against Microsoft as it tries to secure panel supply for the Surface Pro series.