updated 10:30 pm EST, Thu December 15, 2011
IDC sees Amazon denting iPad in fall
Amazon's Kindle Fire could cut Apple's share of the tablet market to under 60 percent for the first time, IDC estimated Thursday. Android would climb from 32.4 percent to get a collective 40.3 percent through the Fire which, along with some help from the Nook Tablet, would push the iPad down from 61.5 percent this summer to 59 percent of tablets. The BlackBerry PlayBook would lose some ground as well, down from 1.1 percent to 0.7 percent, while the HP TouchPad's final exit would give up five percent.
In spite of the shift, researchers Tom Mainelli and Jennifer song didn't see Apple having problems staying in front for at least the foreseeable future. Apple was still poised to have its "best-ever" iPad sales, Mainelli said, and could branch out in 2012 to further delve into corporate and school markets. Song reiterated that the iPad still had a larger app collection and a burgeoning retail footprint in the Asia-Pacific region.
The study also gave rare hard estimates for non-iPad shipments during the summer and believed that HP had shipped 903,354 of its defunct TouchPad, or close enough to Samsung's 5.6 percent that it showed a clearance-sale device nearly as popular. Barnes & Noble's Nook Color came close at 805,458 devices, or 4.5 percent.
Among e-readers, IDC wasn't willing to make hard predictions but saw the total market grow from 5.1 million devices to 6.5 million between spring and summer, even after moving tablet readers like the Nook Color to the tablet category. Fall would likely see a "very strong" performance as the $79 Kindle not only surged itself but triggered a price war that would spur sales.