According to new estimates from IDC, Apple's iPad Pro outsold Microsoft's Surface line during the holiday quarter. The analysis firm projects that Apple sold just over 2 million iPad Pros in the last quarter, with Microsoft thought to have sold 1.6 million Surface devices. Both the iPad Pro and Surface are in what's known as the "detachable" category, which features tablets that can detach from physical keyboards.
Overall, detachable tablets are said to have been the most popular this holiday season, with IDC attributing this to their ability to replace more traditional PCs.
"One of the biggest reasons why detachables are growing so fast is because end users are seeing those devices as PC replacements," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets at IDC. "We believe Apple sold just over two million iPad Pros while Microsoft sold around 1.6 million Surface devices, a majority of which were Surface Pro and not the more affordable Surface 3. With these results, it's clear that price is not the most important feature considered when acquiring a detachable – performance is."
While Apple was the top-selling tablet manufacturer last quarter, it's shipments are down from the same time a year ago. Apple reported last week that it sold 16.1 million iPads during the quarter, down from 21.4 million from the same quarter in 2015. It should be noted that Apple did not break down iPad sales by model.