iPad market share is the lowest its ever been; Android catching up

by: Joe HindyJuly 26, 2013

iPad market share

There are only a few places left in the mobile industry where Apple still controls the market share. It’s shining bastion of light, the iPad, is probably the most notable. Ever since its release, the iPad series has rocked the tablet world. Even though the Nexus 7, the Samsung Galaxy Tab series, and the Amazon Kindle Fire series have had strong showings, the three of them combined don’t add up to the iPad market share. That may be changing in the not-to-distant future, though, as new stats are showing that the iPad series is doing the worst it ever has.

As BGR reports, the iPad lineup is facing numbers that Tim Cook will no doubt be disappointed to hear. That is that the iPad numbers are the lowest they’ve ever been. This brings Apples market share down to a still decent 35.50%, which translates to 14.6 million units shipped. This is less than the 17 million they shipped at this time last year and a much less than the 19.5 million they shipped last quarter.

This is a trend we’ve seen before. It started out with a bad quarter and ended up being a disaster. Of course, we’re talking about the iPhone, which held similar numbers only a few years ago. Since then it’s fallen from the top spot on the world leaderboard in terms of smartphones. If history is destined to repeat itself, this may very well happen again with the iPad. It would make sense, since practically all major Android tablet vendors have been gaining market share in the last year.

There are other factors in play. Apple has shifted its yearly iPad launch and Zach Epstein of BGR believes this is what is causing the drop in market share. Apple is getting set to release a new iPad and iPad mini in the fall which could turn this all around. Of course, that’s what everyone said about the iPhone when Android first started catching up. Since Android now has a competent and well rounded tablet market, there’s every possibility that the iPad is following the footsteps of its smaller cousin, the iPhone.

Of course, we won’t know until all the tablets are out and people start buying them. Could this be Apple just continuing to concede in their market share numbers to Android or will the release of a new iPad series in the fall rectify all this? If you want to talk about it, feel free to in the comments.

  • Amadeus Klein

    Some of this is because at heart all “iP” devices are really mp3 players with different features… The iPhone is an ipod with cellular service, the ipads are larger form factor ipods some with cellular data…

    That being said apple knows how to make a good mp3 player, as such the devices they put out are decent, but the competing phones are designed as phones first with other features. This gives them an advantage, (although not every Competitors phones reach this potential)

    This applies to tablets too…

    For apple to regain market share they need to fundamentally rethink how they design their devices, but I don’t see that happening so their market share will probably continue to shrink.

    • Apple_Nexus

      So true, and most aeroplanes are really walkie talkies with some wings and seats and big engines.

  • Jay Gendron

    Seeing more and more friends and colleagues on Samsung products. They really like them. Is the open architecture? Price? Just not Apple? What are your thoughts?

    • JosephHindy

      There are a lot of reasons. Samsung (and other Android OEMs) offer more choices. Samsung also has amazing marketing. Of course, Android fans love Android and the open source aspect is always in play (at least a little bit).

      • Jay Gendron

        Thanks Joseph

    • gommer strike

      There are many reasons, but ever since the release of 4.0 and up, Android devices have finally reached a point where people can go – OK – this is the minimum level of quality that expect from a tablet or phone.

      The openess – once you’ve experienced it – you realize how stifling iOS can be(although that appears to be changing). Also for many comparable features between iPad and an equivalent Samsung tablet, the Samsung one is cheaper and may include extra nice touches like GPS.

    • needa

      there is a lot to be said about a clock, date, and weather ‘blingin’ on your homescreen.

  • Jimmy Le

    Ever since I purchased my first tablet, which is a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, I have reconfigured my notification so that I won’t hear that whistle. Now I hear that whistle notification where’ve I go, and it is so common. I still see some iPhone and a few iPad, but not as much as Samsung devices.

    • jusephe

      So, you live in South Corea…

      • Seth Forbus

        I live in Colorado Springs and Samsung devices are everywhere. Save it apple fanboy. :P

      • S2556


      • deadpenguins

        Did you really just spell it as “Corea”? Holy crap……………

      • Jimmy Le

        Nope, in California.

  • Piyush

    sad samsung tablet ‘meh’.

  • Jusephe

    The problem is, that those 14,6 million iPad were actually all sold, not shipped like all other companies repport.

    • needa

      lol. no they werent. at least… not in the aspect that you are implying.

  • Seth Forbus

    I really wish Asus had more marketshare. They had the Transformer tablets long before the microsoft surface came out. I used the Transformer Infinity at my university for everything from typing papers, to playing games/emulators, to filming my speeches in debate class. Was a badass little tablet.

    • Ivan Budiutama

      agree, Asus made a very fine piece of gadget. Planning on getting the new Nexus 7 once it is available. Btw, in my country, Asus also offers a very competitive price, one of the reason why I would go for one.

  • James Petersen

    Another title for this article could have been: News Flash! Apple is still leading every other tablet maker on Earth in Sales!

  • abazigal

    Is this article honestly comparing Apple (1 company) against every other tablet manufacturer combined?

    Anyways, it’s worth noting that shipments are lower possibly because people are waiting for the next update for the iPad and ipad mini. I am guessing orders may pick up again after the ipad5 and iPad mini 2 (hopefully with retina display) pick up?

    • Xennex1170

      You could look at it that way but it’s actually comparing major tablet manufacturers to each other and noting that Apple (as the sole manufacturer of the only iOS devices (iPad, iPad mini)) hold a much smaller slice of the overall tablet pie than ever. It goes on to note that comparing OSes Android, is catching up (multiple devices running Android). It may be true that the next iPad update will result in increased number of devices sold, but it is also reasonable to think that by that time iPad share will have dropped farther so the increase may actually only end up maintaining their current market share at best.

      • abazigal

        Well, I do also take issue with the term “units shipped”, since Android’s larger market share doesn’t seem to explain the larger percentage of web usage that IOS enjoys.

        In summary, so long as companies continue to release Android tablets, the ipad’s market share will continue to fall. And I don’t really see this as a bad thing because it simply means more entrants into the market and more choices for the consumer overall.

        For me at least, Apple continues to make products that look great and work great and provide great utility to me, and that’s enough reason for me to continue using their stuff, whatever their market share may be. :)

        • Xennex1170

          I have found that since most Android users tend to be more cost conscious they more often purchase plans that do not have unlimited data. This coupled with features in Android that help reduce data consumption (e.g. downloading area of interest map data for navigation) may help explain the lower web usage compared with iOS. I think Android users and iOS users tend to use their phones differently so simply using web usage as a barometer to validate ‘actual’ sales would be shortsighted.

          I agree, as long as each OS, be it Win8/RT, Blackberry, WebOS, iOS, Android has some relatively stable share the diversity of choices keeps everyone competitive and is good for the consumer.

          Good for you! :) If the device is a good match for what you need it for you’ve made a good choice and it shouldn’t matter what share it holds.

  • Allanitomwesh

    Haha,the beginning of the end.

  • notagain

    Alright… looks like another emotional article bringing the facts (that’s good) with a shallow reasoning. Come on guys. You know that the market used to look like “an iPad and nothing nothing else”, right? Then, a lot cheaper devices of many vendors followed and the numbers we see now are no big surprise. At least they should not be…

    You should also be aware that a shipment has nothing to do with a real sale. How many of these units were returned? Anyway, please take those numbers and tell me what is an income for each vendor? Yes, $$$. This is what matters. Then, please also take another factor into calculation…an income from an application store. How much an android user is eager to spend the money in Google Play? How much of the money comes to the vendors? You also know that.

    At the end of the day a number of shipped units will not give you an answer whether Apple has a real reason to worry or not. An iPad will definitely not disappear, but will find its solid chair. With an iPhone it is a similar story. How can you come up with any conclusions taking all low-mid-high end devices and comparing them with one (or even three – 4, 4S, 5) iPhone(s)? Give me a break, seriously.

    A disaster you say… A real disaster is Microsoft Surface.

    Yeah…I know that it is all about the “clicking” business, but let’s not kick a reader’s brain too much.

    • Xennex1170

      I suppose to be fair, the point here should not be that iPad is low/slow but rather Android is growing in leaps and bounds in comparison resulting in the iPad share of the market looking smaller. I understand there are schools that are reconsidering iPad purchases for Android tablets which could make quite a difference in numbers.