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Apple and Amazon were tablet standouts in 2016

Amazon managed to nearly double its tablets sales while Apple sold over 40 million iPads.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The tablet industry continues to shrink, but not for everyone.

Amazon boosted tablet sales by 99.4 percent last year, according to TrendForce. It sold over 11 million Fire tablets in 2016. However, total tablet shipments were down by 6.6 percent.

Apple's iPad sales dipped 14.1 percent, but the company retained its top spot, selling 42 million devices to comfortably best Samsung. Samsung came in at a distant second place with 27 million tablets sold.

The last few years have been tough for the tablet industry, with reports of slowing sales coming out quarter after quarter. Things could soon be looking up though, with IDC Research last year predicting growth will finally recur next year.

"Major tablet brands posted a marginal decline in their total shipments for 2016," said TrendForce analyst Anita Wang. She notes that Apple's shipments were bolstered by strong sales in the holiday period.

Wang also predicts Apple will release three new iPads in 2017. There'll be an "economically priced" 9.7-inch model, a 12.9-inch model and a 10.5-inch model. That sounds like an iPad Air, an iPad Pro and an all-new design.

Lenovo was another winner in 2016. It sold 10.9 million tablets, representing a shipment growth of 12.3 percent, while Microsoft's Surface Pro sales dropped 1.4 percent to 3.89 million.