A new keyboard is displayed with the new Apple Inc. iPad Pro during an Apple product announcement in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Apple Inc. introduced a larger iPad with a 12.9-inch screen, designed to attract business users and jump-start demand for its tablets. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Photograph by David Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Microsoft Scores a Mini-Victory Against Apple in the Tablet Wars

Dec 04, 2015

Apple is leading overall online tablet sales for the previous 12 months ending in October. But for the first time, Microsoft and its rival devices have earned a mini-victory.

Microsoft’s tablets, including the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book laptop-tablet hybrid, had a 45% share of U.S. online tablet sales in October compared with 17% for Apple, according to data analytics company 1010data.

This is a milestone for Microsoft, which has trailed Apple (aapl) in every month for the past year. It shows that Microsoft (msft) is making headway in a push into the tablet market that started slowly in 2012.

However, for the 12 months, Apple dominated the tablet sector overall in online sales. During that period, it had a market share of 34% versus 19% for Microsoft.

1010data said its data comes from millions of U.S. consumers who voluntarily share their shopping histories. The report did not take in account customers who purchased their tablets in brick-and-mortar stores, such as Apple's retail stores or Best Buy.

The survey lumped together both tablets and variants of the devices known as laplets, 2-in-1 PCs, and detachables.

A report by International Data Corporation earlier this week said that overall shipments of tablets have declined 8% in 2015 compared to last year. The IDC analysts, however, said that sales of detachables had increased and that Apple’s iPad Pro could help bolster overall tablet sales.

The 1010data survey authors wrote in their study, “Without the inclusion of laplets, the tablet category would appear relatively flat or even declining when in reality, the category is evolving.”

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