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Amazon beat out Samsung in holiday tablet sales last year by slashing prices, says report

Amazon beat out Samsung in holiday tablet sales last year by slashing prices, says report

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Tablet sales for Q4 of last year are out, and they tell an interesting story about Amazon superseding Samsung during the quarter with tremendous growth due to large discounts, according to an IDC report. While iPads were still far and away the most popular tablets among consumers last year, with the 9.7-inch iPad and two sizes of the iPad Pro selling a lot of units, Amazon showed the most growth among the top five tablet companies.

Amazon was able to knock Samsung into third place in Q4 last year mainly by offering steep discounts on its Fire Tablets. Products like the Fire HD 8, Fire HD 10, Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite for instance had their prices slashed by at least $30 during Black Friday.

Samsung’s Tab A and E series didn’t perform as well in Q4. Huawei came in fourth, partly because its slate tablets have cellular connectivity which appeals to buyers. Lenovo rounded off the top five companies, also offering tablets in the lower price range.

Overall, Apple shipped out 43.8 million tablets and claimed 26.8 percent of the market last year. Samsung was second place with 24.9 million tablets shipped out.

Interestingly enough, Amazon performed better during the holiday season, possibly due to the steep Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts it offered, while Samsung performed better during the regular months. While a little less than half of Amazon’s tablet shipments last year went out during the holiday season, Samsung’s holiday tablet shipments only accounted for 28 percent of its shipments that year. While Amazon never reveals the exact numbers, it has said Cyber Monday of last year was its biggest shopping day ever.

Samsung shipped 24.9 million tablets, and had a 15.2 percent market share, actually showing negative growth compared to 2016. Amazon trailed narrowly behind Samsung with 16.7 million products and had 10.2 percent of market share, for a year-over-year growth of 38 percent. Huawei shipped 12.5 million units and Lenovo shipped 10.3 million. Other brands accounted for the other 33.8 percent of the market.

If the rumors are true that Google may be launching its own Chrome OS tablets, it’ll be diving into a difficult market where price slashing is how competition gets ahead.