iPad Pro Outsells Microsoft Surface in Launch Quarter

The latest numbers from market research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker show that Apple remains the largest vendor in a declining tablet market, shipping 16.1 million iPads in the fourth calendar quarter of 2015. While the iPad continues to be the best-selling tablet, its worldwide market share remains only 24.5 percent despite the all-new iPad Pro launching in early November.

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iPad shipments declined 24.8 percent compared to the year-ago quarter, when they totaled 21.4 million for 28.1 percent market share. The stagnant iPad sales during the holiday shopping season may be more attributable to the lack of an iPad Air refresh in 2015, however, as the iPad Pro outsold Microsoft Surface tablets in its debut quarter in what IDC describes as a "successful" launch.

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"Despite lukewarm reviews, the iPad Pro was the clear winner this season as it was the top selling detachable, surpassing notable entries from Microsoft and other PC vendors," said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst with IDC. "It's also important to note that the transition towards detachable tablets has presented positive opportunities for both Apple and Microsoft. However, Google's recent foray into this space has been rather lackluster as the Android platform will require a lot more refinement to achieve any measurable success.

Samsung continued to be the second largest tablet vendor with 9 million tablets shipped in the fourth quarter for 13.7 percent market share, an 18.1 percent year-over-year unit decline. Amazon, Lenovo, and Huawei rounded off the top five, with 5.2 million, 3.2 million, and 2.2 million global tablet shipments in the fourth quarter respectively. All other tablet vendors had a combined 45.8 percent market share.

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iPad sales have declined for eight consecutive quarters year-over-year due to, among other reasons, longer tablet refresh cycles compared to smartphones. Apple is rumored to introduce a new iPad Air 3 at a March media event, which could help combat the decline alongside the iPad Pro and iPad mini 4, but most of those sales will fall within the second calendar quarter of 2016.

Overall tablet shipments in 2015 totaled 206.8 million, down 10.1 percent from 230.1 million in 2014.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tags: IDC, Microsoft

Top Rated Comments

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62 months ago
What a loser: it failed even at failing!
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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62 months ago
I see the iPad Pro and Surface as two different types of products. This comparison is not apples to apples.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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62 months ago
The Surface Pro blows away the iPad Pro. No contest.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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62 months ago
I'm sorry but putting a stretched version of iOS of a powerful device doesn't make sense, the Surface does it better even if their stylus is inferior.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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62 months ago
A lot of people went out and bought the iPad "Pro" because it's the first of an iPad released in that size with beefier specs.

Give it another quarter of a year and we'll see how well it does compared to the Surface Pro.

I'd pick the Surface Pro over the iPad Pro mainly because the Surface Pro runs a desktop system. The iPad runs iOS.

Personally, I'm interested in neither product.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
62 months ago

A lot of people went out and bought the iPad "Pro" because it's the first of an iPad released in that size with beefier specs.

Give it another quarter of a year and we'll see how well it does compared to the Surface Pro.

I'd pick the Surface Pro over the iPad Pro mainly because the Surface Pro runs a desktop system. The iPad runs iOS.

Personally, I'm interested in neither product.

If I need something that runs a desktop system, it isn't going to be a Surface. It'll be something that doesn't compromise the desktop experience, like a Macbook Air or Dell XPS. If I need a tablet device, it isn't going to be Surface (that lacks the quantity of quality touch-optimized Modern UI apps).

The fact that the iPad Pro is "only" an iPad and sells for as much as a Surface Pro (which can run desktop software) is still able to outsell the Surface Pro does indeed say something.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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