Microsoft Surpasses Apple in Online Tablet Share for the First Time in 2015

Market Research & Analytics

Since July of 2015, online tablet sales have been on the rise. The online market has grown from a monthly average of $145M in the first half of the year to $205M in the second half. Growth in the category has largely been driven by new product releases, including the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 in June, the iPad mini 4 in September, and the Surface Pro 4 in October.


As a highly competitive segment, the tablet category is constantly evolving to meet the needs of consumer demands. The high level of category innovation has led to products such as the “phablet” – a crossover between a smartphone and a tablet and the “laplet” – a crossover between a laptop and a tablet. In October, Microsoft released the Surface Book, a brand new “laplet” in tandem with the release of their Surface Pro 4.

Our analysis of the tablet category included laplets, such as the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro and the Microsoft Surface Book. Without the inclusion of laplets, the tablet category would appear relatively flat or even declining when in reality, the category is evolving. In the last 12 months, laplets accounted for 16% of sales for the Tablet category.

Which Brands Are Winning in the Online Tablet Space?

In the last 12 months, Apple is the apparent leader with 34% share of the online tablet market. Challengers in the tablet space include Microsoft with 19% share, Amazon with 11% share, and Samsung with 9% share.


Although Apple claims the leader position in the last 12 months, a large share shift occurred in the month of October. For the first time in 2015, Microsoft surpassed Apple’s online share last month. Driven by the release of the Surface Pro 4 and the brand new Surface Book, Microsoft took the lion’s share in October with 45% compared to Apple at 17% share.


Apple, the company most-known for bringing tablets to the mass market, will be releasing the iPad Pro this month for the business-savvy tablet user. Another evolution to meet the needs of the consumer, the new iPad Pro will face a number of competitors, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga and the Toshiba Portege, who have already positioned product lines in the business tablet space.

How much do the hottest tablets cost?

The average selling price for the total tablet category was $280 for the last 12 months. But when we look at the top three brands – Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon – they each have very different price points. Microsoft touted the most premium price point at an ASP of $844. Apple falls in the mid-upper range at an ASP of $392, and Amazon leads the lower price point range, with an ASP of $150.


Despite a lower overall ASP, Apple’s new iPad Pro has a starting price of $799, pushing it towards a more premium price point. The Pro model can go up to a price of $1,079 if consumers want more storage and cellular capabilities.

With the overall category on the rise and several new product releases this year, we expect the online tablet market to continue growing through the end of the year. Microsoft made a huge mark with its successful launch of the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book, proving that consumers are looking for tablets with the high-processing functionality of a laptop. The new launch of the iPad Pro this month will take advantage of this trend and continue to drive online sales for the category.

These Ecom Insights for tablet sales are just a slice of what 1010data collects and analyzes for the entire online retail marketplace. If you are interested in understanding online market share and sales drivers for your category, please contact us.


1010data’s Ecom Insights panel consists of millions of online shoppers in the U.S. who allow 1010data to anonymously track their online behavior for market research purposes, including e-commerce activity.

1010data applies advanced, proprietary statistical modeling, machine learning, and data science techniques to ensure that its panel is representative of the Internet Browsing Population in the U.S. and suitable to extrapolate observations to the broader population.

Retailers measured include the top 100 online mass retailers in the United States that – according to 1010data’s estimates – make up over 95% of hard line goods ordered online Total Spent.