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Samsung's global tablet market share doubled in Q3 2012, while Apple dropped to just over 50%

Samsung sees its global tablet market share rise to 18.1%, while Apple’s share plummets to 52.9%.
December 17, 2012
Samsung Apple

February 2012. Samsung executive says “honestly, we’re not doing very well in the tablet market”. The comment refers to the Korean company’s business, but it can be extended to the entire Android tab market, which seems to be in a slump. Meanwhile, Apple sells gazillions of iPad 2s each month, while the world eagerly awaits the launch of the third-gen slate.

December 2012. Samsung sees its global tablet market share rise to 18.1%, while Apple’s share plummets to 52.9%. Still a big gap, you say? Think of it this way – Sammy had 6.5% in Q3 2011, while Apple was at a whopping 59.7%. Then, in Q2 2012, the score was 9.2% – 68.4%. Now how do you like them apples, Tim Cook?

And to put things into further perspective, let’s see how Apple is doing in its iOS vs Android war, tablet edition. Well, based on IDC’s latest figures, Google-powered tabs make up 42.7% of the worldwide tablet market, while iOS has 53.8%.

ABI Research has the score at 55%-44%, which is basically the same thing. As for Sammer Singh with Tech Thoughts, he says Android tablets are to surpass iPads by the middle of next year. Booyah!

But what has caused this very sudden and pretty much unexpected fortune turnaround? Well, for starters, the creativity slump seems to have shifted from the Android camp to Cupertino. Apple has come out with not one, not two, but three new iPads this year and it’s still on the fall. And that’s mostly because the third and fourth generation large iPads have innovated too little, while the Mini… was bound for failure since day one.


At the same time, we have to come out and say it – Android is winning because it’s not only focusing on specs and hardware anymore, but also on price. People want high-tech gadgets, but they want them as cheap as possible.

But hold up, let’s not digress from today’s topic too much. Today is about Samsung’s war against Apple, and not Android’s. A war that is to get much heated over the next year or so, according to Korea Herald. And you better believe it, because if the tablet market share gap has been narrowed to 34.8% in Q3 2012, Q4 might see the competition get even tighter.

After all, the Nexus 10 seems like a big hit, while the Galaxy Note 10.1 is a surprising semi-success too. On the other hand, the iPad Mini has only started selling back in November, so Apple might get to recover a bit after all. Also, we have to be frank – we can’t see Samsung surpassing Apple altogether in the tablet market very soon.

But Sammy is on the rise and that can only make us happy. And when I say “us”, I actually mean Android enthusiasts and Apple fans alike. Why? Because in order for the tablet market to thrive, it needs serious and tough competition. Competition that Microsoft, for instance, doesn’t seem capable of providing.