The worldwide tablet market had an outstanding fourth quarter (4Q20) with 19.5% year-over-year growth and shipments totaling 52.2 million units, according to preliminary data from IDC. The research group adds that, impacted by the pandemic, the tablet market reached shipment levels not seen since the fourth quarter of 2017 when the total was 49.9 million.
Apple once again led the tablet market with 36.5% market share and year-over-year growth of 19.5% during quarter four of 2020. The new 10.2-inch iPad 10.2 and 10.9-inch iPad Air that launched in the last two quarters helped drive sales during the holiday quarter, according to IDC. With the pandemic restrictions still in effect and remote learning still the primary mode of teaching, there were several big deployments of iPads in the education segment, according to research analyst Anuroopa Nataraj.
Samsung retained second place with 19.4% share and year-over-year growth of 44.9%. Lenovo captured the third spot with global shipments of 5.6 million units and 120.6% year-over-year growth in 4Q20. Amazon.com held the fourth position in 4Q20 with 7.6% year-over-year growth and shipments totaling 3.6 million. Huawei rounded out the top 5 with 3.3 million units in 4Q20 for a year-over-year decline of 25.7%.
IDC says that detachable tablets have broadened their presence in the market as the emphasis on productivity, flexibility, and ease of use is now greater than ever before and sales for this category were often in direct competition with notebooks. Shipments for detachable tablets grew 27.9% during the quarter as both Apple and Microsoft a helped push the form factor with their respective products. Additionally, backlogs for personal computers led some consumers to purchase these detachable tablets in place of notebooks, according to IDC. Meanwhile, slate tablets also grew 13.7% during the quarter as consumers sought ways to stay.