updated 05:03 am EST, Mon November 5, 2012
Apple tablet share declines, Samsung leading Android charge
New figures from IDC show that Apple's share of the tablet market has declined from 65.5 percent in Q2 to a still dominant 50.4 percent. The tablet segment overall also continued to grow by 6.7 percent over the previous quarter as tablets including the cheap Asus-made Nexus 7 helped to kickstart interest in Android tablets. The largest Android tablet vendor, however, was Samsung which shipped 5.1 million tablets in total against Apple's 14 million sales of its single-sized 9.7-inch iPad lineup.
"After a very strong second quarter, Apple saw growth slow as both consumer and commercial (including education) shipments declined, and rumors of a forthcoming iPad mini began to heat up," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets at IDC. "We believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad mini. Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter."
Despite only selling tablets in the US market, the third largest player in the tablet segment is Amazon. Its Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD (7-inch and 9-inch) managed to sell a combined total of 2.5 million units for a 9 percent share of global tablet shipments. Rounding out the top five tablet makers are Asus with 2.4 million sales and Lenovo with just 400,000 shipments.
While it is unlikely that Apple will continue to hold on to its dominant market share in the long term, particularly with the arrival of the new range of Windows 8/RT tablets, its new iPad mini is expected to help stem the tide in the short term. Checks at various Apple Stores around the world where the iPad mini is currently shipping show that Apple is running low, or is out of iPad mini stock.