Tablet Market Shrinks As Amazon Fire Nosedives

The tablet market recorded its first year-over-year decline during the fourth quarter, as sales of Apple Inc.'s new iPad models grew at a slower-than-expected pace and Inc. holiday sales fell 70% from 2013. Worldwide tablet shipments slowed by 3.2% to 76.1 million during the quarter, according to data company IDC. Amazon recorded its steepest annual volume decline among the top five vendors despite the introduction of the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 at the end of September. Apple's efforts to maintain iPad momentum fell flat during the quarter with its next generation iPad Air and iPad mini, IDC said. However, its sales were partially eclipsed by strong demand for the larger-screen iPhone 6 Plus. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company maintained its lead over other vendors, shipping 21.4 million tablets, which accounted for more than 28% of the total market. Samsung Electronics [kr:005930] maintained its place as the second-biggest global tablet vendor behind Apple, shipping 40 million units in 2014, a 1.1% year-over-year increase.

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