Due to better-than-expected demand and channel retailers strengthening their promotions, some US-based tablet vendors achieved strong shipments, helping global tablet shipments grow 23.9% sequentially to reach 65.34 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015. But compared to the same quarter a year ago, the volume still decreased 13.8%.
Although iPad Pro shipment performance was the main focus for market watchers, the iPad Air 2 was the major contributor of Apple's tablet shipments of 16.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015 thanks to channel retailers' aggressive promotions, according to Digitimes Research's latest report about global tablet shipments.
White-box players' tablet shipments in the fourth quarter of 2015 were only 20.3 million units, down nearly 5% sequentially because of competition from first-tier brand vendors' low-cost models in Europe and North America, Intel canceling its subsidies, and the fact that white-box players have turned to supply large-size Windows-based tablets with higher prices and better profits.
Non-Apple brand vendors performed the best in the fourth quarter of 2015, shipping 28.94 million units, up 6.4% on year. Among the vendors, Samsung mainly focused on its inexpensive 7-inch tablet with phone functionality and a 9.6-inch model; however, their shipments only had limited growth.
Amazon mass shipped its low-price Fire 7 tablet in the fourth quarter of 2015 and by taking demand away from white-box players' models, the US-based vendor's tablet shipments grew significantly on year in the quarter.
With a complete product lineup and strong shipments both in China and overseas markets, Huawei's tablet shipments surpassed those of Asustek Computer for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Because of Apple and Amazon's better-than-expected shipments, Taiwan ODMs had strong tablet shipments in the fourth quarter of 2015, shipping 23.32 million units altogether. Thanks to the iPad Air and the iPad Pro, Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) contributed almost 60% of the volume. Compal mainly benefited from the iPad mini 2 and Amazon's Fire 7.
Foxconn and Compal together accounted for over 80% of Taiwan's tablet shipments in the quarter.