Tablet sales plummet, Amazon Kindle Fire range hardest-hit

By Jay Jay

Being spoilt by the increasing flurry of smartphones in the last quarter of 2014, consumers' preference towards tablets took a major dip.

As per IDC, a market research firm, global shipments of tablets in the fourth quarter of 2014 fell by 3.2 percent compared to the same period in 2013.

The hardest-hit has been Amazon. Sales of the Kindle Fire range of tablets were a paltry 1.7 million units in the fourth quarter as compared to 5.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. In other words, the overall shipments depeciated by 69.9 per cent. Out of 76.1 million tablet sales in the fourth quarter globally, Apple sold 21.4 million units.

In spite of the large share, Apple's comparative sales fell by 17.8 per cent over its figures in the same period in 2013. At the same time, Samsung recorded sales of 18 million units, a drop of 18.4 percent over the previous year.

Speaking on the release of the IDC report, Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, said, "Although Apple expanded its iPad lineup by keeping around older models and offering a lower entry price point of £200 ($249), it still wasn't enough to spur iPad sales given the excitement around the launch of the new iPhones."

In spite of the fourth quarter shocks, the overall tablet sales in 2014 grew by 4.4 per cent over the 2013 figures. The possible explanation of the fourth quarter cramps could be an increased availability of larger and more advanced smartphones, or maybe consumers were just biding time for the upcoming MWC.

We'll wait for the first quarter results to see if tablets could bounce back yet again from the year-end slumber.

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