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Apple still top tablet maker in Q1 2021 as global market booms

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Apple's iPad retained the dominant share of the tablet industry in the first quarter of 2021 as the product segment grew more than 50% year-over-year.

Total shipments of tablets reached 39.9 million units in Q1 2021, representing year-over-year growth of 55.2%, according to new data from analysis firm IDC. The firm says growth of this magnitude hasn't been seen since 2013.

Among tablet makers, Apple kept the top spot. The Cupertino company shipped an estimated 12.7 million iPad units during the first quarter, up 64.3% year-over-year. Apple had a 31.7% share of the market, up from 30% in Q1 2020.

Samsung ranked second with an estimated 8 million tablet shipments and 20% of the market. Lenovo came in third with 3.8 million shipments, Amazon came in fourth with 3.5 million shipments, and Huawei clocked fifth with 2.7 million shipments.

"While vaccine rollouts and businesses returning to offices may slow down the work-from-home trend, we are still far from returning to 'normal' working conditions and hence the demand for tablets, especially detachables, is expected to continue for a while," said IDC research analyst Anuroopa Nataraj.

IDC notes that tablets used be the top choice in the education market, but Chromebooks are quickly catching up in the U.S., Western Europe, and most recently, in Japan.

Apple no longer reports individual unit sales for its products. However, during its last earnings call, the company said that iPad revenue grew 78.7% to $7.8 billion in the March quarter.

The company also recently announced two new iPad Pro models equipped with M1 chips and a new Liquid Retina XDR display on the 12.9-inch model. Preorders opened on Friday and the devices will ship in the second half of May.