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Apple lost shipment-based 'share' in tablets in Q3; is unconcerned

updated 08:50 pm EDT, Wed October 30, 2013

Figures from prior to new iPad introduction, still dominant by brand and profit

Market analysis firm IDC is reporting that despite sales of 14.1 million iPads in the calendar third quarter of 2013, Apple's share of the worldwide tablet market dropped 11 percent in the face of increased shipments from others, particularly Samsung. As reported earlier, the iPad remains the clear leader in tablets by individual brand, but the combined total of shipped Android-based tablets is rising, and there was no new iPad product announced during the quarter.

Only Apple reports actual end-user sales, making accurate comparisons difficult. Rivals can -- and do -- ship far more units than are actually sold, and then take the unsold units back or liquidate them. In some cases (notably Amazon), analysts must even guesstimate shipments, since the company doesn't offer anything product-specific. IDC has previously claimed that Android tablets account for the majority of sales, though the study was not based on actual sales and later repudiated.

As mentioned earlier, Samsung more than doubled its shipments of Android-based tablets in Q3, bringing its total to 9.7 million units, taking second place behind Apple's iPad total. It grabbed an estimated 20.4 percent marketshare (up from 12.4 percent in the previous quarter). Asus took third place, increasing shipments to 3.5 million, which is up over 50 percent from the same period last year.

Lenovo saw the biggest growth in shipments, quadrupling them year-over-year and more than quadrupling its share (from 1.1 percent to 4.8 percent share, good enough for fourth place). The China-based company shipped around 2.3 million Android tablets, though what percentage of that was for the home market (which are "Android tablets" in name only, as they don't engage any Google services) was undetermined. Acer brought up the rear of the top five by shipping 1.2 million units, good enough for a 2.5 percent share of the market. This was a 346 percent rise from a year ago.

The 11 percent drop for Apple was credited to the lack of new models in the quarter, and buyers waiting until the inevitable October announcement. The figures should change in the next (holiday) quarter since Apple has now refreshed the line.

Another factor that may work in Apple's favor in the current quarter is that the price differential has lessened. Google and Amazon have recently raised prices on their seven-inch tablets (from $200 to $229), which moves them closer to the iPad mini's premium pricing (which has, thus far, not hurt the iPad mini at all in terms of sales).




By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. prl99

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 03-24-09

    Just like phones, I'd bet most of the samsung tablets are throwaway pieces of trash. There's no way to know how many of the non-iPads were actually sold much less used more than a couple times. People buy cheap things without any idea what they will do with them. This pertains to all sorts of things not just tablets.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 11-28-08

    Apple might not think anything about market share but the news media and Wall Street certainly do. Wall Street is definitely downgrading Apple due to constant loss of market share and all the news media does is constantly harp about how Apple is doomed or is financially hurting because of dwindling market share. Both the news media and Wall Street measure success of a company by how many products they can sell and that's all that matters. It may not hurt Apple but it's really allowing Apple shareholders to take a pounding even as Apple makes money. It seems so many consumers prefer cheap products and Apple really needs to get a message across to consumers that they get what they pay for. Low prices usually mean inferior products as manufacturers cut corners. Samsung is just shipping the hell out of their tablets at low prices and it's very enticing to consumers. That's got to hurt Apple to some degree. It's got to hurt Samsung to some degree if those shipped tablets aren't sold, but nobody seems interested in that possibility one way or another.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I'm sure Apple is mindful of marketshare, but they just don't see that as the motivator to do things. They believe great products always find a market, even if it isn't the largest one. McDonald's is not the greatest hamburger restaurant in the world by dint of the fact that they sell more hamburgers than anyone else.

    As for quality over quantity, ask any former Betamax owner about that. :) Yes, quality costs and thus it always loses out to "meh." I'm not sure that it's hurting Apple as much as you think, though, iphonerulez. Sure, they lose some sales -- to a market segment they don't care much about -- but at some point, consumers who have any money come (however slowly) to the realisation that they're willing to pay a few bucks extra for something that really works.

    Apple doesn't need to be #1 to do well. They just need to keep making products people truly love -- that's the best route for long-term survival. IMO.

  1. RockoBoffo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-12-13

    Market share is actually quite important because in OS markets, you cannot cherry pick the high end without losing developer interest, and then not having the volume at the high end that you hoped - after all one feature that people expect of a high end device - is quality software.

    It's becoming apparent that you are right, that Apple did learn the wrong lesson from the Mac vs. Windows war that they by-and-large lost. They thought they failed because they lost sight of the high end.

    They failed because they lost critical marketshare, and they are heading down the same path - harming their brand.

  1. RockoBoffo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-12-13

    What apple needs to do is take the non-Retina iPad mini and drop the price to $199 and sell it as a volume device - to keep a high customer base size as compared to Android.

    That maximizes the developer interest in the platform and keeps the high end software coming.
    That just-as-healthy if not more healthy App Store compared to Google Play - helps burnish Apple at the high end, selling their high end products - it doesn't harm it. It helps!

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Originally Posted by prl99View Post

    Just like phones, I'd bet most of the samsung tablets are throwaway pieces of trash. There's no way to know how many of the non-iPads were actually sold much less used more than a couple times. People buy cheap things without any idea what they will do with them. This pertains to all sorts of things not just tablets.



    Oh please. Are you really that naive? You'd have to "bet" since it sounds like you never look at anything that doesn't have an Apple logo on it.

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Originally Posted by chas_mView Post

    McDonald's is not the greatest hamburger restaurant in the world by dint of the fact that they sell more hamburgers than anyone else.



    :rollseyes:

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Originally Posted by RockoBoffoView Post

    What apple needs to do is take the non-Retina iPad mini and drop the price to $199 and sell it as a volume device - to keep a high customer base size as compared to Android.



    If they did this right before Christmas, I think their marketshare would skyrocket. They could seriously push the 1st gen Minis if they played it smart for Black Friday. :)

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    Originally Posted by chas_mView Post

    , ask any former Betamax owner about that. :)



    Yes. The iPhone, the Betamax of the 21st century.

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