Consumers have apparently taken a liking to the iPad Pro following its November release, as new data suggests that Apple moved nearly half a million more of the jumbo tablets alone than Microsoft did of its entire Surface lineup.
"We believe Apple sold just over two million iPad Pros while Microsoft sold around 1.6 million Surface devices, a majority of which were Surface Pro and not the more affordable Surface 3," IDC research director Jean Philippe Bouchard said in a release. "With these results, it's clear that price is not the most important feature considered when acquiring a detachable - performance is."
IDC considers tablets like the iPad Pro and Surface — which are designed to work primarily with first-party keyboard accessories — in a different category than tablets such as the iPad Air.
"This quarter was unique as we had new detachables in the market from all three of the major platform players," IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani said. "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."
"It's also important to note that the transition towards detachable tablets has presented positive opportunities for both Apple and Microsoft," Ubrani added. "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."
Healthy iPad Pro sales helped Apple keep its market share lead over second-place Samsung, despite a continued slowdown in overall tablet demand. Apple finished the fourth quarter with 24.5 percent of the market, compared to 13.7 percent for the South Korean firm.
Amazon came in a surprise third with its bargain basement Fire tablet, which sold for just $50 during the holiday shopping season and accounted for 7.9 percent of the market. Lenovo and Huawei rounded out the top five.