By 2016, tablets had joined the larger PC market in stagnating sales growth. Smartphones had grown more powerful and came equipped with bigger screens, and manufacturers hijacked tablet features like touchscreen displays for so-called 2-in-1 laptops (see next slide).
One of the rare success stories for tablets during this time was courtesy of Amazon, the online retailing behemoth that created Android-based Kindle Fire slates to complement its Kindle e-readers. As with other Amazon successes, the Kindle Fire’s popularity stems from its unbeatable price: The basic 7-inch model started selling for a mere $33.33 during Black Friday 2016, both on the Amazon site and through other retailers like Best Buy and Target.
Other budget tablets had sold for around that price, but primarily from third-tier vendors in places like drugstores. The Amazon imprimatur, however, allowed it to sell millions of Kindle Fires — 11 million in 2016, to be exact, a yearly growth of a whopping 99.4 percent in shipments.
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