Apple and Samsung dominate the tablet market, but for the first time ever the number of tablets shipped has decreased. That’s bad news for all tablet manufacturers, but Amazon’s line of Kindle tablets is getting hit more than most.
A new report published by IDC shows that worldwide tablet shipments have shrunk for the first time since 2010.
IDC says that Q4 tablet shipments were at 76.1 million units, a drop of 3.2% on 2013.
This chart from IDC shows the breakdown of tablet manufacturers:
Amazon isn’t just the smallest tablet manufacturer on that chart, it’s also been hardest hit. It saw a drop of 69.9% in shipments from the previous year. That’s a far larger drop than its rivals. Apple’s shipments shrunk by 17.8%, and Samsung shipments were down 18.4%.
What this chart doesn’t show is sales of standard book-reader Kindles. Instead, it measures tablet sales – so Amazon’s Kindle Fire range of Android tablets.
It’s difficult to say exactly why Amazon took such a huge hit on tablets. It’s not like it didn’t launch any new products in 2014: Amazon launched an updated Kindle Fire tablet in October that was lighter, faster, and had a better camera. Judging by the figures published by IDC, it doesn’t look like the refreshed Kindle tablets have been a hit.
Amazon hasn’t been having much luck with hardware. Sales of the Fire Phone, Amazon’s first foray into the smartphone market, have been weak. Third-party sales figures published in 2014 suggested that Amazon had only sold 35,000 Fire phones. Since then, Amazon has repeatedly dropped the price of the phone, eventually bringing it to just 99 cents (down from $US199.)
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.