Stellar growth for iPad part of a burgeoning tablet market

Apple sales in the 2020 holiday quarter were very strong.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

iPad shipments shot up 40% during the last quarter of 2020, according to a market research firm. And the whole tablet market increased dramatically.

This growth helped Apple hold onto its place as the world’s second largest computer maker.

iPad sales are through the roof

On Wednesday, Apple reported that revenue from tablet sales hit $8.4 billion last quarter, a year-over-year increase of 41%. The analysts at Canalys crunched the numbers and estimate that translates to 19.2 million iPad units shipped in the October-through-December quarter.

Apple made up 36% of all tablet sales in Q4. Samsung had 19%, Amazon 12% and Lenovo 11%. The total tablet market for Q4 2020 reached 52.8 million units in Q4, and 160 million for the entire year. That’s a 54% annual growth.

And the analysts are bullish on the future of the category. “Their versatility across, not just different form factors and price points, but also connectivity options, make them an ideal device across a variety of use-cases, from simple slates for e-learning and content consumption all the way to high-performance detachables for productivity users who are adapting to spending a larger proportion of time at home,” said Ishan Dutt from Canalys.

Apple just behind Lenovo in total computer sales

Unlike other market-analysis firms, Canalys doesn’t imagine iPads and Cromebooks are completely different types of computers from laptops and desktops. It combines shipments of all these devices to determine which company makes the most computers. By that criteria, Apple is narrowly behind Lenovo at the top of the global market.

But Apple closed the gap by shipping 26.4 million Macs and iPads in Q4. It moved a total of 81.4 million units for the full year, an increase of 23%

Lenovo held onto the lead by shipping 28.8 million computers in the last quarter of 2020. And its total reached 87.0 million units during all of last year, an increase of 19%.

HP, in third place, wasn’t particularly close with an annual total of 67.8 million. It was followed by Dell (50.5 million) and Samsung (34.5 million).