iPad ire: Apple's tablet share falls to new low of 50%
Android shipments surging, says IDC
The firm's sweep of the worldwide tablet market shows that, despite strong sales of Apple's tablet following the launch of the third generation edition, Android tablet shipments are surging, forcing the Cupertino giant's hand down.
IDC's numbers for Q3 2012 reveals that, overall, the tablet market has grown by 49.5 percent year-on-year.
As stated, Apple's slice of the market, however, has declined.
In Q3 2011, Apple's share of the tablet market stood at 59.7 percent. One year later, the company's share has dropped to 50.4 percent, with Android OEMs gaining ground.
"After a very strong second quarter, Apple saw growth slow as both consumer and commercial (including education) shipments declined, and rumours of a forthcoming iPad mini began to heat up," explained Tom Mainelli, research director for tablets at IDC.
"We believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad mini."
However, now that Apple has launched its diminutive slate, IDC's report predicts that those consumers will be buying iPads aplenty in the fourth quarter of 2012.
"Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter."
The share Apple has lost to date, however, IDC claims Android OEMs have swept up.
Samsung, for instance, now boasts a market share of 18.4 percent a considerable increase against its Q3 2011 share of 6.5 percent.
Indeed, Samsung's share and shipment surge "represents the first time a competitor has attained this level of share since the original launch of the iPad," according to Ryan Reith, program manager for IDC's mobile device trackers.
Asus also saw significant growth in both shipment numbers and market share a boost that can no-doubt be attributed to the company's partnership with Google to create the Nexus 7.
Amazon's global market share, meanwhile, now stands at 9 percent, which is particularly impressive considering the firm's tablets were only available in the US until recently.
The three players
Now that Apple has launched the iPad Mini, Google has launch the Nexus 10 and Windows 8 tablets have begun hitting the market, competition is truly heating up in the tablet arena.
The IDC is sceptical about Microsoft chances in this space, though, with Reith noting that "Microsoft and its partners will have a tough time winning a share of consumer wallet with price points starting at $500."
Similarly, IDC's report suggests that Apple's iPad Mini pricing may be on the high-side, too.
"We believe the mini's relatively high $329 starting price leaves plenty of room for Android vendors to build upon the success they achieved in the third quarter," explained Tom Mainelli.