updated 12:20 pm EDT, Fri October 21, 2011
iPad slips only slightly in summer 2011 tablets
Apple only lost about 1.3 percent of tablet market share in the summer as Android tablets hit full swing, Strategy Analytics found in its latest study. The 11.12 million iPads shipped gave it 67 percent of the space, down from 68.3 percent in the spring. Android made up 27 percent of the rest, with the BlackBerry PlayBook making up most of the rest.
The only sharp drop came from a year ago, when competition for the iPad was virtually non-existent and Apple had 96 percent share. Overall, the tablet market moved 16.7 million devices this summer, more than three times the 4.4 million from the same point in 2010.
Android's share gain was potentially disappointing as the summer included the launches of some of the most important models. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 had its full stride during the summer, and the HTC Jetstream arrived at the same time. Existing tablets like the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer and Motorola Xoom were also supposed to have increased production, although the two companies have yet to report how many they shipped.
Actual sell-through is a further concern. Apple has said in the past that it sells virtually every device it ships aside from necessary inventory for replacements. Android tablet makers have so far declined to comment in either direction, although Motorola is known to have instituted major price cuts in a sign its sales might not be improving significantly.
Research director Neil Mawston saw the Amazon Kindle Fire as the real threat, although it wouldn't come close to toppling Apple by itself. The tablet e-reader could "ignite the entry-level tablet segment and attract more mass-market consumers," he said. Estimates have it selling 15 million of the Kindle Fire by the end of 2013, or 7.5 million a year.