Global sales of tablets continue to dip, and Apple's iPad saw a similar downward trend. The overall Apple tablet sales figures saw a decline of 14.1 percent, while the overall tablet shipments saw a decline of 6.6 percent in total tablet shipments. Even though shipments reduced, Apple still retained its top spot in overall sales, with Samsung taking the second position in overall tablet shipments globally.
CNET sites a Trendforce report to state that Apple managed to ship 42.5 million iPad units, while Samsung managed 27 million shipments in 2016. This downward trend is expected to continue into 2017 as well, and Apple's shipments are predicted to be only at 39.3 million, while Samsung will manage to ship only 24.8 million units, according to Trendforce.
The big winner here was Amazon, which managed to increase tablet sales by 99.4 percent, selling over 11 million Fire tablets in 2016. Furthermore, unlike Apple and Samsung, Amazon will see a boost in tablet sales in 2017 as well, and is predicted to ship 11.5 million units. Lenovo also saw a 12.3 percent growth in sales with 10.9 million units shipped in 2016.
TrendForce analyst Anita Wang said that majority of the tablet brands showed a decline in sales, and Apple managed to retain its top spot only because of strong sales during the holiday period. She further said that Apple will look to refresh its iPad line-up in 2017, and Wang predicts an 'economically priced 9.7-inch model, a 12.9-inch model and a 10.5-inch model'. This is in line with KGI analyst Ming Chi Kuo predictions, as he also claimed that Apple will look to introduce three new iPad models in the second quarter.
Analysts have predicted in the past that the slump in tablet sales is due to the slow refresh cycle, and users looking at alternatives to the large screen device. IDC analysts said that increasing number of users are shifting to large smartphones, or to lightweight PCs, some of which have detachable keyboards.