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Huawei and Apple’s tablet sales rise despite big market segment decline

The second quarter of 2018 has seen overall tablet sales decline by 13.5 percent when compared the same period in 2017, according to a sales report from the International Data Corporation (IDC). That fall represents a drop from 38.2 million units to 33 million — a drop of just over 5 million units.

Fire Tablet magnate Amazon was hit the worst by the decline, suffering a 33.5 percent drop in sales compared to 2017 — and losing its fourth-place position to Lenovo as a result. However, Amazon’s comparatively lower sales mean that its drop of 800,000 thousand units is small fry compared to other manufacturers. Samsung dropped a cool million units, falling from 6 million units to 5 million, though still retaining its second place position in the market. The IDC blames an ageing lineup as the major reason for the decline, though it forecasts that the recent reveal of the Galaxy Tab S4 should boost Samsung’s sales in the coming months.

It’s not all bad news. Likely spurred on by the launch of a new, more affordable iPad at the end of the first quarter, Apple’s sales have risen — though only by 0.9 percent. Still, that means that Apple is sitting pretty with 11.5 million sold in the second quarter — over twice what second-place Samsung achieved, and enough to grant it over a third of the market’s sales with a market share of 34.9 percent.

Huawei saw gains, too, rising from 3.1 million units to 3.4 million units — a rise of 7.7 percent, with nearly half of these sales continuing to be found in the Asia/Pacific area (excluding Japan). Sales of Huawei’s convertibles, though a limited range, also showed promise, achieving a rise of 200 percent. Samsung’s sales should be boosted by the reveal of the Galaxy Tab S4, but the South Korean company still risks losing its second-place position to Huawei should recent trends continue. Huawei recently surpassed Apple to become the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer, and the Chinese company would probably welcome another trophy on its mantleplace.

The sales being tracked include traditional “slate” tablets, as well as convertible tablets that connect to a keyboard — but do not include the growing market of convertible notebooks, which are permanently attached to a keyboard and can rotate fully around to form a bulky tablet.

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