In the tablet market, three vendors were dominant during the second quarter of 2017 in terms of sales through technology distributors. Apple, Samsung and Microsoft led the way, followed by five other vendors that trailed well behind, according to The NPD Group, a New York-based market research firm.
During the second quarter of 2017, HP's market share for tablet sales through distributors dropped to 1.1 percent. That's down from 1.5 percent during the same period a year earlier. HP launched new tablets during the first half of the year including the HP Pro x2 612 G2, a 12-inch Windows tablet with features such as a magnetically attached Collaboration Keyboard, and the HP Spectre x2, a 12.3-inch Windows tablet with an ultra-sharp (3000 x 2000 resolution) display.
Panasonic saw its share of the tablet market shrink slightly during Q2, to 1.2 percent from 1.4 percent a year earlier, in terms of sales through technology distributors. New releases by the company during the quarter included the Toughpad FZ-A2, a rugged 10.1-inch Android tablet, which comes with features such as built-in Android for Work enterprise security.
Lenovo saw a modest increase in its share of the tablet market during the second quarter, according to data from The NPD Group. The company's market share of distributor sales of tablets rose to 1.7 percent from 1.4 percent during the same period of 2016. Among Lenovo's new releases during Q2 were two 12-inch Windows tablets - the second - generation ThinkPad X1 Tablet, which lets users attach external modules for added functionality, and the Miix 720, which is geared toward use by creative professionals and designed to work with the new Lenovo Active Pen 2.
Asus saw its share of the tablet market slide to 1.6 percent during Q2, from 1.8 percent the year before, in terms of sales through technology distributors. During Computex 2017 in May, the Taiwan-based company announced a new Android tablet, the 7.9-inch ZenPad 3S 8.0, which followed the launch of the ZenPad 3 8.0 in late 2016.
Acer boosted its tablet market share in the second quarter to 1.9 percent, from 1.6 percent during the same period a year earlier, according to The NPD Group data on distributor sales. Acer launched new tablets during the first half of 2017 including two detachable 12-inch Windows tablets (the Switch 3 and Switch 5) and two 10-inch Android tablets (the Iconia Tab 10 and the Iconia One 10).
Q2 saw Microsoft's share of the tablet market slip in terms of sales through distributors, with the company falling from the No. 2 slot to No. 3. Microsoft tablets accounted for 19.1 percent of the market, compared to 22 percent during the same period the year before. Executives from the company said that sales of Surface tablets were down during the quarter due to the timing of product transitions, as customers held off on purchases in anticipation of the release of a new Surface Pro.
The new edition of the 12.3-inch tablet came out in June with improvements including a promised 13.5 hours of battery life, compared to nine hours previously. Still, the predecessor device in the series, the Surface Pro 4, ranked as the second top-selling tablet through technology distributors during the second quarter, according to The NPD Group.
Samsung enjoyed a strong quarter for tablet sales through distributors, with the company's share of that market rising to 21.3 percent from 20.2 percent a year earlier. The South Korean firm passed Microsoft to ascend to No. 2 in the market during Q2, from No. 3 the year before. The growth was buoyed by sales of the Galaxy Tab A, an 8-inch Android tablet, which ranked as the third best-selling tablet through distributors during the quarter, according to The NPD Group.
Samsung also released two major new tablets during Q2 – the Galaxy Book, a 12-inch Windows tablet paired with a newly designed keyboard, and the Galaxy Tab S3, a 9.7-inch Android tablet that comes with an upgraded S Pen.
Apple easily retained its No. 1 position in sales of tablets through technology distributors, while also growing its share of the market to 51.4 percent during the second quarter, up from 49.5 percent a year earlier. The results were driven in part by the release of a new 9.7-inch iPad in March, which ranked as the top-selling tablet through distributors during Q2, according to The NPD Group.
Apple also saw strong sales of the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 4 during the quarter, The NPD Group reported. Meanwhile, Apple unveiled a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model in June, featuring minimized bezels around the display and a speedier processor.