Do You Have One? Apple Loses Market Share While Tablet Industry Heats Up

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November 5, 2012 ‐ By Kimberly Maul

Customers checking out the iPad Mini in Chicago. Image: AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

While consumers waited for the release of the iPad Mini, which was officially announced on October 23, Apple’s hold on the tablet market dropped in the third quarter of 2012.

According to a report from the International Data Corporation, Apple had 14 million shipments of tablets in the third quarter. While this is an increase from the 11.1 million in the third quarter 2011, the company’s market share dropped. In Q3 2012, 50.4 percent of tablet shipments were from Apple, a drop from 59.7 percent from Q3 2011.

The IDC noted that this drop may have been due to some Apple fans waiting for the new iPad Mini. Full year results will show the impact the Mini had on the tablet market, but so far, Apple reported that three million iPad Minis and fourth generation iPads were sold during the opening weekend starting on Friday, November 2.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s market share rose from 6.5 percent to 18.4 percent from Q3 2011 to Q3 2012, as its shipments rose from 1.2 million to 5.1 million.

“Samsung took advantage of an opportunity in the second quarter,” said Ryan Reith, program manager, IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers, in a statement about the data. “The company offers a wide range of tablet offerings across multiple screen sizes and colors, and that clearly resonated with more buyers this quarter. Its growth to 18.4% of worldwide market share during the quarter represents the first time a competitor has attained this level of share since the original launch of the iPad.”

Amazon, which was not tracked in 2011, saw 2.5 million shipments, or nine percent market share, while Asus (8.6 percent market share) and Lenovo (1.4 percent) rounded out the top five tablet vendors.

It seems tablets are everywhere these days, and the numbers back that up. The IDC also found that tablet sales were up 49.5 percent over the past year, with 27.8 million tablets shipped during the third quarter.

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