updated 11:20 am EST, Thu March 10, 2011
IDC says iPad had 83pc tablet share in 2010
Steve Jobs' claims of Apple having 90 percent of the tablet market in 2010 weren't far off, IDC found on Thursday. It gave the iPad 83 percent of the tablet market in 2010. Apple's share was down to 73 percent in the fall, but only because of the then-new Galaxy Tab carving out 17 percent during its initial run.
While it didn't give definite figures, the research group believed that Samsung may have sabotaged its own chances at better sales. The Korean company had said its performance was "quite smooth," but its sales to shipment ratio was reportedly poor due to a "lack of competitive pricing," IDC said. Samsung regularly charged just $30 less for its smaller, shorter-lived Galaxy Tab in the US versus a 3G iPad and often chained the tablet to a data plan, hiking its real cost.
Analysts also expected Apple to hold on to virtually all of that share in 2011. Despite other predictions of a decline, the iPad should still have 70 to 80 percent of the market this year. Only companies that could both compete on technology and price at the same time had a real chance, IDC said, and they also had to have the sheer distribution scale to make an impact.
The Motorola Xoom was one of these, but the decision to ship through Verizon first with an $800 price was a "barrier" that could lock it out of getting meaningful share. Motorola has promised an eventual Wi-Fi Xoom and may sell it for much less, but Apple will have had an unchallenged iPad 2 launch if the cheaper Xoom ships in early April.
Almost all tablet sales at the end of 2010, 89 percent, were in the iPad-friendly US, Western Europe and non-Japanese parts of the Asia-Pacific region.
IDC also used the opportunity to examine the market share for dedicated e-readers. The Kindle's lead widened in fall, growing to 48 percent both in the season and for that year. Pandigital's emphasis on very cheap readers pushed it up to second place for the fall, but it slightly lost out to Barnes & Noble's Nook range for the whole year.
Hanvon was fourth place through its dominance of China, where it ships half of its hardware. Sony was a relatively small player with just 800,000 Readers sold for all of 2010, but an 80.7 percent spike at the end of the year gave it a major lift.