Apple Maintains Lead in Tablets but Market Share Drops by 14% in 3Q 2012

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Apple's share of the tablet market continued to best all others with 55% unit shipment share in the period reveals new data from market intelligence firm ABI Research. Despite maintaining its lead for 10 straight quarters competition from tablets powered by Google's Android OS continue to eat away at Apple's success.

Fifty-five percent is the lowest share Apple has ever had since launching the iPad in 2010.

"With the introduction of a smaller, lower-cost iPad mini, Apple has acknowledged Android's beachhead of 7-inch-class tablets, though at the same time, it has failed to deliver a knock-out punch through innovation, pricing, and availability during the most critical selling period of the year," says senior practice director Jeff Orr.

Following Apple in shipment share this past quarter were Samsung, Amazon, and ASUS. Rather than steal share from Android, ABI Research believes the iPad mini has caused demand for standard iPad models to shift down-market. Limited availability of iPad mini could be the saving grace as end-of-year buying ramps.

Nearly 14% share was given up in the quarter to several benefactors, including Amazon, Google, and Samsung. Android now powers more than 44% of tablet shipments.

"As the OS of choice for the majority of device OEMs, we expect the Android ecosystem to continue growing in numbers - new manufacturers, better device choices for reaching more markets, and more developers finding value from apps and content," adds Orr.

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Tags: apple ipad  tablets  android 

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