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Tablet market falls 10% in the third quarter

The latest research from Strategy Analytics ( indicates that shipment growth may not be achievable for many vendors any longer but several key players grew their market share on their own terms in a down market. 

Huawei and Microsoft grew year-on-year while Apple and Samsung outperformed the market, gaining market share. The global tablet market declined 10% year-on-year in the third quarter (Q3) and shipments in all three major ecosystems fell.

“Even though Samsung and Apple shipment volumes fell year-on-year, their market shares grew,” says Chirag Upadhyay, senior research analyst at Strategy Analytics. “It seems that after a strong Q2 2018 and leading up to the release of new iPad Pros in Q4 2018, consumers pulled back a bit and favored the lower-priced iPads for entertainment. Samsung’s long-game has been to make more money regardless of the shipment volume and this quarter could be the start of stabilization on that front as they ready their foldable products for 2019.”

Apple iOS shipments (sell-in) fell 6% year-on-year to 9.7 million units in Q3 2018, pushing its worldwide market share to 24% of the tablet market, according to Strategy Analytics. This shipment decline was softer than the overall market, thus Apple gained a point of market share from the prior year. 

Android shipments fell to 24.3 million units worldwide in Q3 2018, down 11% from 27.2 million a year earlier and up 4% sequentially. Market share fell one percentage point year-on-year to 61% as many branded Android vendors find it very difficult to compete on price in the wake of Apple lowering its iPad prices, according to Strategy Analytics.

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