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A new report by Strategy Analytics found three of the top five tablet vendors experienced double digit growth for the third quarter of 2017, with global tablet shipments growing 2 percent sequentially to about 45 million units.

Apple maintained its lead, shipping 10.3 million units, up 11 percent year over year from 9.3 million, and capturing 23.1 percent of the global tablet market share, up from 19.8 percent, according to the firm.

The report, Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and Market Share: Q3 2017, found that Samsung, while still in second with 5.6 million units shipped, was down 15 percent from 6.6 million a year ago. The company’s market share for the quarter was 12.5 percent, down from 14 percent in the third quarter of 2016. Huawei, meanwhile, appears to be gaining ground with a 7.2 market share, up from 5.4 percent a year ago. Huawei shipped 3.2 million units in the third quarter, up 27 percent compared to 2.5 million last year and saw a continued run of four years of annual growth in tablet shipments. 

Amazon too saw gains year over year, shipping 2.5 million tablets, a 25 percent increase from the 2 million in the third quarter of 2016, and increased its market share to 5.6 percent, up from 4.3 percent.  

 “The global tablet market has reduced the high negative growth rates of the past couple of years and Apple just strung together two straight quarters of year-on-year growth,” Eric Smith, director for Tablets and Touchscreens at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. “During Q3 2017, Huawei and Amazon also kept up their pace of strong gains in their respective corners of the Android market, while Lenovo bounced back to positive growth with good footing in the Android and Windows segments. Windows tablet demand is experiencing a slump overall, compared to this time last year as consumer market pricing and marketing have failed to connect to consumers while enterprise demand is still swift for pricier 2-in-1 tablet form factors.”

Overall, while global tablet shipments grew 2 percent quarter on quarter to 44.6 million units, they declined 5 percent annually from 46.9 million units a year ago.

“Apple shipped 10.3 million tablets worldwide in Q3 2017, rising an impressive 11 percent annually from 9.3 million in Q3 2016 and unit sales rose 25 percent year-over-year in Greater China and 39 percent in India,” Peter King, director of Device Practices at Strategy Analytics, added. “Huawei maintained third position with 7 percent global tablet market share in Q3 2017, up from 5 percent in Q3 2016. Huawei continues to close in fast on Samsung, although the latter has just fewer than 13 percent market share in Q3 2017. If Huawei were able to penetrate the U.S .market where it currently ships a single digit percentage of its total shipments, then it would become a major force in the tablet market. Lenovo continued steady progress in the tablet market shipping 3 million units in Q3 2017; Lenovo is focusing on a higher-value product portfolio and de-emphasizing lower-value offerings. Amazon reported record sales of its Fire tablets during the July Prime Day promotion early in Q3 2017.”

Altogether, Android shipments dropped 8 percent annually to 27.8 million units, but were up 5 percent sequentially. Market share was also down 2 percent annually to 62 percent, in part due to Apple’s recent strategy of lower prices on standard slates, according to Strategy Analytics.   

Windows shipments jumped 13 percent sequentially to 6.7 million units, but fell 14 percent annually from 7.7 million in the third quarter of 2016. Consequently, market share was down 1 percent year over year to 15 percent.

“From a market share point of view, this segment will now show fast growth again until there are more serious tablet options in the mid to low tiers,” the researchers wrote.

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