According to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple’s share of the tablet market dropped to below 30 percent during the third quarter of this year against a background of overall growth in the tablet market.
The company estimates that 47.6 million tablets were shipped during Q3 which represents a seven percent growth compared to the second quarter and a near 37 percent growth when compared to the third quarter of 2012. However it seems that Android is still eating away at Apple’s market share. Since Apple moved its iPad launches from Spring to Fall there was a gap with no new tablet announcements, this in turn seems to have directly affected sales.
iPad shipments have slipped from 14.6 units in the second quarter of 2013 to 14.1 million units in Q3. This means that compared to last year iPad shipments have only increased one percent. During the three months ending in September, Apple’s tablet market share dropped to 29.6 percent, its lowest share ever.
However with the new iPad Air and iPad mini (with Retina display) starting to ship during November, it is estimated that this dip below 30 percent will be temporary. A criticism often leveled at Apple is its pricing strategy with its tablets aimed at the higher end of the market, however it is worth noting that the latest generation of tablets from Google and Amazon all carry higher prices than their predecessors. The newest 7-inch tablets from these companies now sell at $229 (up from $199) to cover the higher costs associated with higher resolution screens and high end processors.
While some undoubtedly hoped for more aggressive pricing from Apple, the current prices clearly reflect Apple's ongoing strategy to maintain its premium status -- Jitesh Ubrani, Analyst with IDC.
In the Android segment Samsung continues to dominate with a 20.4 percent overall market share. It managed to ship 9.7 million units during Q3 making it the second biggest tablet manufacturer after Apple. Its closest rival is Asus which shipped 3.5 million units during Q3. The total number of tablets shipped by Samsung, Asus, Lenovo and Acer combined is 16.7 million units. This means that the top four Android manufacturers control some 35 percent of the tablet market.
However other manufacturers, including the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, HP, Dell and some other lesser-known brands still account for nearly 17 million of the tablets sold during the quarter. This “others” category has grown 25 percent when compared year-over-year with 2012.
Do you own a tablet? Did you buy it from one of the big five: Apple, Samsung, Asus, Lenovo and Acer or did you opt for one made by a different brand?