Apple's iPad competes with the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Amazon Kindle Fire, for sure. However, holiday shoppers were actually pulled between the iPad and the iPhone, leaving Apple to compete against itself.
in 2011 exceeded analyst estimates, but the Apple iPad still took a hit during
the fourth quarter, usually a strong sales period due to holiday shopping. The
culprit? It wasn't the Samsung Galaxy Tab or even the Amazon Kindle Fire that
took the biggest bite out of iPad sales. It was Apple's iPhone 4S, according to
a Feb. 16 report from IHS iSuppli
rollout of the iPhone 4S in October generated intense competition for Apple
purchasers disposable income, doing more to limit iPad shipment growth than
competition from the Kindle Fire and other media tablets, IHS analyst Rhoda
Alexander wrote in the report.
shipments rose 39 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011, up from 11.1
million in the third quarter to 15.4 million. Still, Apple's share of the tablet
market fell to 57 percent from 64 percent during the quarter.
In addition to
the highly anticipated new iPhone, the Kindle Fire did also nibble at shares.
Amazon shipped 3.9 million Kindle Fire devices during the quarter, for a 14.3
percent share of the marketa significant achievement, considering the device
only arrived in November.
called it a "respectable start," qualifying Amazon's success by
noting, "The long-term viability of the product will hinge on the success
of Amazons business gamble, which depends on tablet sales driving substantial
new online merchandise sales at Amazon.com
order to attain profitability.
impressed, the Pew Internet Project called holiday tablets sales
"striking," finding that tablet
and ebook ownership among adults in the United States nearly doubled
few weeks from mid-December to early January.
For the full
year 2011, Apple shipped 40.5 million iPads, which represented just a 62
percent share of the market. Despite the 168 percent growth over the 15.1
million units it shipped in 2010, its portion of the much smaller tablet pie
that year was 87 percent.
despite the holiday challenge from Amazon, held onto the No. 2 spot for the
year, claiming 9.4 percent of the market on shipments of 6.1 million units.
Amazon, not far behind, claimed a 6 percent share of the market for the year.
IHS notes that
sales of Android tablets during the fourth quarter were "achieved at
considerable financial cost," as vendors felt forced to slash prices and
host promotions to compete with new, lower-priced devices, including the Kindle
Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook.
added, may offer some relief.
wake of the new low bar for pricing set by the Fire and the Nook and the
looming Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility, manufacturers and branded
vendors are looking to Windows 8 tablets as a more profitable
alternative," stated the report. "Watch for a surge of Windows 8 and
ARM microprocessor-based tablets in late 2012 and early 2013."
for Apple to reassert itself with the expected introduction of an iPad 3or
whatever Apple chooses to call its next tabletwhich is expected to feature a
QXGA retina display and Siri, the voice-prompted assistant Apple introduced on
the iPhone 4S.
iSuppli anticipates strong sales for the next iPad refresh, with demand
expected to outstrip supply for several months," said the report.