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Tablet Shipments Fall for First Time, With Amazon Hit Hard

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Tablet shipments fell at the end of last year for the first time since the market's inception in 2010, according to a new report, with Amazon devices plummeting nearly 70 percent. Global shipments for tablets fell to 76.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, dropping 3.2 percent from the same period the previous year, according to tech market research firm IDC. It is the first year-on-year decline since the market's inception in 2010. Shipments for the full year of 2014, however, rose 4.4 percent, totalling 229.6 million units. Apple's fourth-quarter iPad shipments fell 17.8 percent year-on-year to 21.4 million, while Samsung saw an 18.4 percent decline to 11 million over the same period.

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But the biggest loser was Amazon, which clocked a 69.9 percent decline in shipments of its Kindle Fire range, falling from 5.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 to just 1.7 million in the same period last year. "Although Apple expanded its iPad lineup by keeping around older models and offering a lower entry price point of $249, it still wasn't enough to spur iPad sales given the excitement around the launch of the new iPhones," Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, said.

IN-DEPTH

--- Arjun Kharpal, CNBC

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