Apple's iPad Pro outsells Microsoft's Surface Pro but doesn't curb iPad sales glut

Apple sold around 400,000 more units of its iPad Pro than Microsoft's Surface devices in the fourth quarter of 2015. Among Surface tablets, the Surface Pro 3 stood out as the most popular one, even though overall tablet sales in 2015 were down by 10 per cent compared to 2014 figures.

Despite selling 2 million iPad Pro tablets, Apple couldn't avoid a 21.7 per cent fall in iPad sales year over year, selling a total of 49.6 million iPads in the whole year. Samsung came second, finishing with 33.4 million tablet sales in 2015 compared to 39.4 million tablets in 2014.

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Overall, the tablet market declined by 10 per cent year on year and by 13.7 per cent in Q4 of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. Total tablet sales in 2015 reached 206.8 million compared to 230.1 million tablets sold in 2014, said IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker on tablet sales across the globe.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Despite the recession in the demand for tablets, detachable tablets performed remarkably well in 2015, selling 8.1 million units in total. The total number of detachable tablets sold in Q4 was more than double the number of such tablets sold in Q4 of 2014.

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"One of the biggest reasons why detachables are growing so fast is because end users are seeing those devices as PC replacements. We believe Apple sold just over two million iPad Pros while Microsoft sold around 1.6 million Surface devices, a majority of which were Surface Pro and not the more affordable Surface 3. With these results, it's clear that price is not the most important feature considered when acquiring a detachable – performance is," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets at IDC.

Amazon Kindle tablet

Among tablet manufacturers, Lenovo sold the same number of tablets as in 2014 but increased its market share from 4.9 per cent to 5.4 per cent. Huawei, on the other hand, more than doubled its tablet sales from 3 million units in 2014 to 6.5 million units in 2015.

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Among budget tablets, Amazon’s new Kindle tablet performed amazingly with 5.2 million unit sales during the holiday season compared to just 1.9 million tablets in Q4 of 2014. Amazon increased its market share from 2.5 per cent to 5.2 per cent in the same period.

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