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Apple's iPad Pro outsold Microsoft's Surface tablet last quarter

The world may finally be ready for giant tablets

Despite not hitting the market until the middle of the last quarter, Apple sold 2 million units of its iPad Pro, exceeding sales of the Microsoft Surface, which came in at 1.6 million units for the quarter, according to IDC estimates. The research group called the iPad Pro the big winner in a declining tablet market which fell 10 percent year over year.

"Price is not the most important feature."

Losing out to the iPad Pro isn't a knock against Microsoft, who increased Surface sales by 29 percent year over year, but it does give credence to larger hybrid tablets as a potential growth opportunity. The IDC reports that the Surface Pro far and away outsold the smaller and cheaper Surface 3, indicating that bigger tablets with keyboards (which it calls detachables) may finally be ready for primetime as a laptop replacement for some users.

"One of the biggest reasons why detachables are growing so fast is because end users are seeing those devices as PC replacements," IDC research director for tablets, Jean Philippe Bouchard said. "With these results, it's clear that price is not the most important feature considered when acquiring a detachable — performance is."

Verge Video: iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro 4 comparison