Apple, as Samsung Gains, Sees Share of Tablet Market Fall
Apple tablet sales fell sharply during a third quarter without a new iPad, reducing Apple's share to 50.4 percent while Samsung tablet sales grew 325 percent year-over-year.Apple has dominated the tablet market since the iPad reimagined and reinvigorated it. But as competitors find their footing with more compelling devices, Apple's position at the top is being shaken. During the third quarter, it came the closest it ever has to losing the majority share of the market, with its percentage slipping to 50.4 percent, from 60 percent a year ago, IDC said in a Nov. 5 report. Samsung made good use of second and third quarters during which Apple fans are thought to have put off sales in anticipation of an upcoming iPad Mini, and consequently was able to increase shipments by 325 percent between the third quarters of 2011 and 2012, with strong sales of its Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab. "[Samsung] offers a wide range of tablet offerings across multiple screen sizes and colors, and that clearly resonated with more buyers this quarter," Ryan Reith, program manager of IDC's Mobile Device Trackers, said in the report. "Its growth to 18.4 percent of worldwide market share during the quarter represents the first time a competitor has attained this level of share since the original launch of the iPad." Apple on Oct. 23 introduced a fourth-generation iPad and the anticipated Mini—which features a 7.9-inch display to the traditional iPad's 9.7 inches—and on Nov. 5 announced that it had sold a combined 3 million iPads in the three days after the two new devices went on sale.
IDC, anticipating strong iPad sales, expects Apple to boost its sales during the fourth quarter, but added that a door has been opened that Apple won't be able to fully close.