Worldwide Tablet Market Grows As Apple iPad Share Declines

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
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Rivals erode Apple’s share, but iPad manufacturer accounts for more than half the market

Apple’s stranglehold on the global tablet market loosened in the third quarter of 2012, yet it still controls a majority share, according to the latest IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.

Samsung, Amazon, Asus and Lenovo all made gains at Apple’s expense as the worldwide tablet market grew by 49.5 percent year on year and 6.7 percent from the second quarter of 2012.

However, iPad market share is expected to bounce back in the final quarter of this year with the release of two new devices, with a number of other tablets making their debut ahead of Christmas.

Tablet market growth

“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. “Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter.”

Samsung shipped 5.1 million tablets during the period, more than double the number it shipped in the previous quarter and 325 percent more than it did this time last year. Amazon, which wasn’t even a player in the market a year ago, had a nine percent share of the worldwide market despite only shipping in the US until now. Asus success can be attributed to the release of the Google Nexus 7, while Lenovo has enjoyed strong shipments in China.

Apple has sold three million fourth generation iPads and iPad Minis since they debuted last Friday, but the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Barnes & Noble Nook HD and the Microsoft Surface are just some of the tablets hoping to make an impact on Apple’s market share.

“Competitors are turning up the pressure on market leader Apple,” said Ryan Reith, program manager, IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers. “With the recent introduction of a number of Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets, consumers now have a third viable tablet platform from which to choose.”

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