iPad Pro Accounted for Less Than One-Third of Apple's Tablet Sales Last Quarter

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While the iPad Pro lineup has increased Apple’s tablet revenue based on higher price points, helping offset a lengthy slide in units sold, the latest data from market research firm IDC claims the iPad Air and iPad mini lines accounted for more than two-thirds of Apple’s tablet shipments in the fourth fiscal quarter.

Apple officially reported 9.26 million iPads sold in the quarter, representing late June to late September, but it does not break down its tablet sales by individual model. IDC did not share its methodology behind calculating iPad Pro sales specifically, but vaguely notes that it uses proprietary tools and research processes.

Despite selling some 600,000 fewer iPads compared to the year-ago quarter, Apple’s tablet revenue remained flat at just over $4.2 billion in the quarter. The reason: iPad Pros cost more. The higher ASP is important for Apple as the worldwide tablet market continued its slump last quarter.

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IDC estimates tablet shipments dropped to an estimated 43 million units in the quarter, marking a 14.7% year-over-year decline. Apple led all vendors with 21.5% market share, up slightly from 19.6% in the year-ago quarter, while Samsung trailed in second with an estimated 6.5 million shipments and 15.1% market share.

Amazon and Chinese competitors Lenovo and Huawei rounded off the top five with an estimated 3.1 million, 2.7 million, and 2.4 million tablet shipments respectively in the quarter. Amazon saw explosive 319.9% growth due to its Amazon Prime Day sale in early July that led to a huge surge in shipments of its Fire tablets.

During its recent earnings call, Apple financial chief Luca Maestri said the company is “highly successful” in the tablet market, with 82% market share of premium tablets priced above $200. Meanwhile, IDC said other vendors are “racing to the bottom” with low-cost, sub-$200 traditional and detachable 2-in-1 tablets.

“The race to the bottom is something we have already experienced with slates and it may prove detrimental to the market in the long run as detachables could easily be seen as disposable devices rather than potential PC replacements,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC.

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