Though Apple's iPad sales shrank, Amazon's Kindle Fire took 70% nosedive last quarter

Posted:
in iPad edited February 2015
The worldwide tablet market saw its first-ever year-over-year decline in the holiday quarter, but the biggest losses were seen by Amazon, which saw shipments of its budget-priced Kindle Fire series plummet 70 percent.




The latest quarterly estimates from IDC were published on Monday, revealing that tablet shipments in the December quarter were down 3.2 percent year over year.

Apple's numbers are already known -- the company reported last week that sales of iPads were down 17.4 percent to 21.4 million units. But competitors such as Amazon, Samsung and the like do not report actual unit sales for their tablets, leaving industry watchers relying on estimates from firms like IDC.

IDC projects that Apple continued to hold the lion's share of the tablet market, shipping more than the next four closest competitors combined. Samsung was in second place with 11 million units, an 18.4 percent decline.

The only company among the top five to post gains was Lenovo, which grew its estimated shipments 9.1 percent to just 3.7 million units. It was followed by Asus, which saw its budget-priced tablets plummet 24.9 percent to 3 million units.



The worst, however, was seen by Amazon, whose Kindle Fire lineup saw a freefall of 69.9 percent in shipments, according to IDC. Amazon is estimated to have shipped just 1.7 million tablets in the quarter, good for a 2.3 percent market share.

Though the market is seeing sales decline, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has said he remains bullish on the future of tablets. In his company's quarterly earnings call last week, Cook said he sees great potential in the company's upcoming hardware pipeline.

Though he cautioned that he doesn't expect to see tablet sales improve in the short term, he said he sees the space as a long-term viable market. He noted that tablet users tend to be upgrading on a more PC-like timeframe, keeping their device for many years before replacing it, unlike the typical two-year upgrade cycle with smartphones.

One potential catalyst believed to be on the horizon for Apple is a rumored 12-inch tablet that has been dubbed the "iPad Pro." It's been suggested that Apple could use a larger and more powerful iPad model to cater to business customers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,779member
    What's that expression? ... Oh yes ... 'All things are relative.'
  • Reply 2 of 57
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,588member

    Much as I enjoy my iPad I have come around to the fact that I am definitely a laptop kind of person. iPhone and laptop. Call me old fashioned.

  • Reply 3 of 57
    I thought the below article in Wired had a point, though I don't agree that with the advent of large screen phones like the 6 , tablets are now struggling for a place in our sphere of needs. The experience is just too good for them not to be useful, even if they're not as handy as phones.
    http://www.wired.com/2015/01/nobody-knows-ipad-good-anymore/

    However, if I had the ipad OS on my iPhone 6plus instead of the iphone OS, so in -say - Calendar or Pages the screen space was much more effectively used, it might be a different story.
  • Reply 4 of 57
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    What's that expression? ... Oh yes ... 'All things are relative.'



    Yep, the haters pounce on the iPad sales decline as proof that Apple is doomed. They conveniently forget the fact that other tablet manufacturers fared even worse. Apple sold more tablets than anyone else except of course “other.”

  • Reply 5 of 57
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member

    Think of all those Kindle Fires buried in a landfill somewhere.

  • Reply 6 of 57
    davendaven Posts: 473member
    paxman wrote: »
    Much as I enjoy my iPad I have come around to the fact that I am definitely a laptop kind of person. iPhone and laptop. Call me old fashioned.

    My laptop took a dive about a year ago. I already had an iPad so I switched to that for email, web browsing, and writing. I was going to get a laptop to replace my iffy laptop but ended up buying a refurbished mini mac instead and hooked it up to my TV. At this point, I don't know if I'll ever get a new laptop. However, I'm retired so my wants are different then the wants of many other people.
  • Reply 7 of 57
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,201member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post

     

    Much as I enjoy my iPad I have come around to the fact that I am definitely a laptop kind of person. iPhone and laptop. Call me old fashioned.


    I'm with you. But...I do find uses for my iPad, and will continue to update when I see value.

  • Reply 8 of 57
    Remember, this is IDC we're talking about. Don't expect accuracy
  • Reply 9 of 57
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,968member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    Think of all those Kindle Fires buried in a landfill somewhere.

    My sister bought 3 of them (I advised her to get iPads), and they're quite nice. They're not on the level of the iPad, but they're much better than most other tablets, so landfill fodder they're not.
  • Reply 10 of 57
    I don't think our household would be happy without iPhones, iPads, Laptops and Desktops.
    They all get lots of use in different ways by different family members.

    I know it's off-topic but today I was also wondering if I could use an AppleTV with a Thunderbolt display (the display would replace the monitor we currently use for TV - unfortunately no HDMI input on TB display).
  • Reply 11 of 57
    Tablets have their value. I can't imagine being without an iPad anymore. However, I do not feel the need for a frequent upgrade cycle. A new iPad every 3-5 years is more than fine to me. And I find the same reasoning among many other iPad owners. In my opinion slower tablet sales are simply the result of slower upgrade cycles of this category.
  • Reply 12 of 57
    I am also out of the tablet game. My last iPad was the mini retina, and I don't use it anymore since my iPhone 6+. I use a desktop, laptop and phone. If my laptop could have 32GB and drive two 4K monitors like my desktop, then I'd be laptop and phone. Tablets are far less flexible than laptops, and overlap phones significantly. The fad is over, and now light usage or niche are the answer. I don't think the keyboard will ever go away for the absolute majority of people. We were never post-PC, there was just a snow-blindness from the brilliance of the iPad. I have never believed in the tablet as a conquering category, but I do believe in a form factor dictating a usage model. I am looking forward to tiny laptops, or phones that are powerful enough to plug a monitor into and use as a "regular" computer - iOS when pure phone, OS X with peripherals.
  • Reply 13 of 57
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post

     

    Much as I enjoy my iPad I have come around to the fact that I am definitely a laptop kind of person. iPhone and laptop. Call me old fashioned.


    I'm the same way. Ever since I bought a new retina mbp a few months ago, I hardly use my iPad anymore. I still use my iPad as my go to device when I'm traveling though. 

  • Reply 14 of 57
    The market is saturated. People don't buy tablets every two years like phones.
  • Reply 15 of 57
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,588member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaveN View Post





    My laptop took a dive about a year ago. I already had an iPad so I switched to that for email, web browsing, and writing. I was going to get a laptop to replace my iffy laptop but ended up buying a refurbished mini mac instead and hooked it up to my TV. At this point, I don't know if I'll ever get a new laptop. However, I'm retired so my wants are different then the wants of many other people.



    Sure - I can see that. In fact, in terms of writing I think the iPad is fine. I'd use a keyboard for speedier editing. But I need to do so many things the iPad is not good at and I find using a lot of different devices a pain. I thought I'd prefer to read on my iPad but to be honest the iPhone is great.  So a light laptop, a big ass monitor and an iPhone is probably my ideal set-up at the moment.

  • Reply 16 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

    iPad sales did not shrink.  The fact is the 6+ is a mini tablet.

     

    I'll say it again:  iPad and iPhone unit sales should be combined because the line between the iPadMini and 6+ is so thin.

     

    Total iOS devices (iPad+iPhone)

    Q1-2014 - 77.0 million

    Q1-2015 - 95.8 million

    Unit growth - 24%



    Total iOS Revenue

    Q1-2014 - 44 Billion

    Q1-2015 - 60 Billion

    Revenue growth - 37%



    Average Selling price iOS devices

    Q1-2014 - $570

    Q1-2015 - $627

    Selling price increase - 10%

     

    i*PHONE* 6+ is not a tablet, it's a phone, and it's phone-sized. iPad mini is a tablet, can't make calls, and it's hella bigger. What do the numbers look like when you put the devices in the correct categories?
  • Reply 17 of 57

    I know this has been said a ton, but it's true... old iPad's still work at the core functions people use them most for, and they work well. You don't have the upgrade pressure in tablets that you do in smartphones. People credit bigger screens with smartphone upgrades, but there have been other significant drivers... faster data connections for example. My iPhone 6 smokes my 4S - the speed difference between the two in data connection over cellular is exponential and in fact, has contributed more to expanded useage for me than either the screen size or the faster processing power.

     

    Anyway, reason I'm bringing this up is, the iPad is a more versatile device than the Fire. The Fire was blatantly designed and marketed for media consumption, whereas the iPad has more versatile utility and productivity uses associated with it. If the iPad can't get people upgrading every couple of years when it does have a significantly greater degree of utility and productivity associated with it, then media-consumption-focused devices like the Fire have little to no hope at all. A device like that would need a new compelling media standard that users actually want and that would require new hardware to consume to drive upgrades from older devices and generate excitement among potential new users. They went too niche with the device IMO.

     

    If compelling "killer apps" that most want that won't run on older hardware don't start appearing on tablets, we're going to see potentially longer upgrade cycles than even traditional computers. Tim Cook is right to see great potential in the iPad, it is absolutely there and the IBM partnership may lead to realizing some of that untapped potential, but as of now, the "killer apps" of the tablet world that people use most basically remain the ones that came on the earlier iPads and have been available on most tablets for some time. That needs to change if tablet sales are going to surge again.

  • Reply 18 of 57
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,094member
    21million iPads in 4 months, that's an whole lot.
    It's also 5 times the Mac sales (including laptops), that's incredible..
    Apple would have be stunned to hear this number in 2010.

    If Apple makes a non restricted full blown iPad, A4 sized (or even 13 inch) it's success will be of the scale.
  • Reply 19 of 57
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,931member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post

     

    Much as I enjoy my iPad I have come around to the fact that I am definitely a laptop kind of person. iPhone and laptop. Call me old fashioned.


    If it works best for you, it matters. For me, iPad cannot be replaced for its conveniences by anything else at home due to the FaceTime and iMessage from family oversea, check some news before bed, baby monitoring and entertainment for my little one. Therefore, Macbook would not work well in the scenario. 

  • Reply 20 of 57
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post

     

    Much as I enjoy my iPad I have come around to the fact that I am definitely a laptop kind of person. iPhone and laptop. Call me old fashioned.


    I'm mostly a Mac desktop and iPhone user - always have been, although I do have a top of the line MBP with me for work, travel and meetings, but I seldom need to use it. I also have a couple iPads but only use those when on vacation or for testing web code.

     

    I've decide to build web pages so they just work for all screen sizes and platforms instead of testing for device features. Modernizer is a handy piece of code for that, but I also tend to make the fonts, form fields and buttons just a bit larger than I use to so it works better for iOS. A couple years ago the style trending was to make everything really small. Now it is the opposite. Everything needs to be bigger to accommodate fat fingers. I usually dislike sites made specifically for iPhones.

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