Sales of larger tablets are booming as the market continues to come under attack at the smaller end from big smartphones.
Tablets sized 11in or more contributed 10 per cent of a total tablet market that fell 7.9 per cent year on year to 35.2 million units in Q1, according to analyst TrendForce.
That compares with the 1.5 per cent market share these larger models boasted a year ago.
Apple's iPad Pro and Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 are the main contributors to the shipment growth of oversized tablets, TrendForce said.
"As large-size smartphones continue to erode the tablet market, the trend of tablets becoming even larger has become more apparent," it said.
"TrendForce's data shows the 7.x in tablets accounted for less than 40 per cent of the total tablet shipments in the first quarter. This is a significant contraction from a year earlier when this size segment still held 51 per cent of the shipment share."
Market kingpin Apple saw shipments fall 18.8 per cent year on year to 10.3 million units in Q1, but TrendForce said the recent release of the 9.7in iPad Pro will boost its shipments in Q2.
Second-placed outfit Samsung suffered a 26.5 per cent drop to 6.5 million units as it paid for the fact it launched only two new tablets during the quarter.
"The lack of fresh products, the erosion of the 7in tablet market by large smartphones and seasonality all resulted in sharp shipment decline for Samsung during this period," TrendForce said.
Amazon and Lenovo – which each shipped 2.2 million units – and Huawei, which shipped two million, rounded out the top five. Number-six player Microsoft enjoyed "brisk sales" of its Surface Pro 4 but is unlikely to maintain its sales momentum this year, the analyst opined.
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