updated 09:42 am EST, Thu January 31, 2013
Samsung, ASUS gain ground
Although the iPad remains the best-selling tablet, Apple's share of the tablet market dropped 8.1 points year-over-year during the last quarter -- albeit based on shipments rather than actual sales to end users, according to new iDC numbers. Shipments rose from 15.1 million to 22.9 million, but the company's marketshare dipped from 51.7 percent to 43.6 percent. Much of the lost ground was claimed by Samsung, which saw share rise from 7.3 percent to 15.1 percent, and shipments rise from 2.2 million to 7.9 million. ASUS also made large strides, advancing from a two percent share and just 600,000 shipments to a 5.8 percent share and 3.1 million tablets shipped.
A combined "others" category saw its share increase from 18.5 percent to 22.1 percent, a rise from 5.5 million units to 11.6. Two major brands, meanwhile, saw their influence slip -- the first being Amazon, which while growing shipments from 4.7 million to six million also witnessed its share fall from 15.9 percent to 11.5. Barnes & Noble suffered a loss in both shipments and share, selling one million Nooks versus 1.4 million the year before, causing share to drop from 4.6 percent to 1.9 percent.
Samsung's surge is attributable to a mix of Android and Windows tablets, while ASUS' performance is presumably linked mainly to the Google Nexus 7, which it manufactures. The company is also responsible for the notebook-like Transformer Pad series of tablets. Actual sales figures are generally unavailable from most tablet manufacturers apart from Apple, and so whether or not the shipments will turn into end-users remains to be seen, but the numbers do cast a shadow on Apple in terms of increased competitiveness from rivals.