The numbers are in for how many tablets where sold during the last quarter of 2012 and although Apple remains at the top, strong competition from companies selling Android based tablets means that Apple’s Q4 market share decreased by nearly three percent.
Overall the number of tablets shipped far exceeded predictions and according to preliminary data, from the International Data Corporation (IDC), a record-breaking 52.5 million units were shipped worldwide during the last three months of 2012. This means that the tablet market grew over 75% when compared to 2011. Between July and September 2012 some 30 million tablets where shipped while the new Q4 figures show an extra 22 million tablets, which is a 74% increase in just three months!
Apple is still the biggest tablet vendor and the Cupertino based company managed to ship 22.9 million units in the run up to the end of the year. That is about 43% of the market. In second place comes Samsung with 7.9 million tablets shipped or 15% of the market. Interestingly, Samsung’s tablets sales are made up of Android and Windows based models.
Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble had good quarters with Amazon shipping more than 6 million tablets during the quarter and Barnes & Noble managed close to a million units. This means that Amazon’s market share rose from 8.3% during the summer to 11.5% by the end of the year.
The biggest disappoint was the number of units shipped by Asus. Although the company holds the number four spot, its quarterly share dropped from 7.8% to 5.8%, this is worrying as Asus’ numbers include Nexus 7 shipments. But looking at the whole year Asus shipped 400% more tablets in 2012 than it did in 2011!
Microsoft doesn’t appear in the top five tablet vendors but according to the data Redmond did manage to ship 900,000 tablets almost the same as the Nook. However since the Surface RT only became available at the end of October the 900,000 units shipped are only for two of the three months in the quarter.