New iPad Users Now Equal to Original iPad Ownership

Apple’s third-generation iPad, two months after going on sale, has matched the user numbers of the original iPad, according to data from Localytics.

This week the newest Apple iPad, just two months after going on sale, managed to gain the same user base as the original iPad, Localytics reported May 24. Based on €œapps using Localytics for apps analytics,€ the company says that which shall not be called the iPad 3 is now at 20 percent, just like the original.

Users of the iPad 2, the most popular version to date, represent 60 percent of the iPad user base.

€œPrepare for another WWDC [Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference] with good Apple sales news €¦ the new third-generation iPad this week caught the original, becoming the second most widely used of Apple€™s family of tablets,€ Localytics blogged. €œAfter selling over 3 million devices and grabbing 14 percent of the U.S. iPad market in the first four days of availability, the updated iPad has continued to sell extremely well.€

The third-gen iPad€™s biggest selling point is its Retina display, which has 2 million more pixels than a high-definition television. The Wall Street Journal€™s Walter Mossberg called it the €œmost spectacular€ display he€™d ever seen on a device, adding that it was €œlike getting a new eyeglasses prescription€”you suddenly realize what you thought looked sharp before wasn€™t nearly as sharp as it could be.€

Apple also updated the iPad€™s camera, replacing a sub-1-megapixel model with a 5-megapixel model and complementary software that can do right where shaky hands go wrong. Apple additionally gave it a speedier processor and optional 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity on the AT&T or Verizon Wireless networks.

While the newest iPad€™s €œswift overtaking€ of the original is impressive, writes Localytics, €œit has a long way to go to leapfrog the iPad 2, which is still in 16GB capacity for $100 less than the third-generation iPad€™s basic model.€

During the first quarter of 2012, Apple reasserted its dominance in the tablet space, continuing to put up strong numbers while competitors such as Amazon€”which enjoyed strong Kindle Fire sales following the tablet€™s late-November introduction€”generally saw numbers drop off from their fourth-quarter highs.

Apple shipped 11.8 million iPads during the first quarter, compared with 15.4 million during the fourth, helping to boost its market share to 68 percent, as Amazon€™s fell from nearly 17 percent to just over 4 percent.

With Amazon€™s fall, Samsung moved into the No. 2 spot, Lenovo jumped behind Amazon into the fourth spot and Barnes & Noble, with its Nook, took up the fifth position.

"It seems some of the mainstream Android vendors are finally beginning to grasp a fact that Amazon, B&N and Pandigital figured out early on: Namely, to compete in the media tablet market with Apple, they must offer their products at notably lower price points," Tom Mainelli, IDC research director, said in a statement.

"We expect a new, larger-screened device from Amazon at a typically aggressive price point, and Google will enter the market with an inexpensive, co-branded ASUS tablet designed to compete directly on price with Amazon's Kindle Fire. The search giant's new tablet will run a pure version of Android, whereas the Fire runs Amazon's own forked version of the OS that cuts Google out of the picture."

According to analysts with IHS iSuppli, Localytics may soon enough have another iPad to track. In time for the holiday shopping season, IHS expects Apple to introduce another new iPad, this one with a 7.85-inch XGA display.

€œApple has yet to confirm that such a product will be part of its product strategy,€ IHS reported in early March, €œbut suppliers anticipate its release in the fourth quarter.€