According to IDC’s latest tablet shipment numbers for the third quarter of 2012, Apple’s worldwide tablet market share dropped from 65.5 percent in 2Q12 to 50.4 percent in 3Q12. Rival tablet manufacturers Samsung, Asus and Amazon gained at the expense of Apple’s market share during this quarter.
Worldwide tablet shipments grew from 25 million to 27.8 million, growing by 6.7 over the second quarter and an impressive 49.5 percent year-over-year.
Apple’s slow down was largely due to the anticipation that typically precedes any Apple product announcement, in this case the iPad mini (and the unexpected iPad 4). Potential iPad buyers held off their purchases to wait for the iPad mini to launch, and competitors swooped in with cheaper tablets, which were available in a wide range of sizes.
Samsung shipped 5.1 million tablets in Q3, up from 2.4 million in Q2 while Amazon shipped 2.5 million of its Kindle Fire tablets. Their marketshare stands at 18.4 percent and 9 percent respectively. Even Asus saw an increase in its market share from 3.4 percent in 2Q12 to 8.6 percent thanks to good sales of the Nexus 7.
The current quarter has seen a number of new forces enter the tablet market, which can potentially change the current market share figures:
- Apple launched the iPad mini, and an updated 9.7” iPad.
- Samsung built Google’s newly introduced Nexus 10 tablet, which starts at an extremely low price of $399.
- Nexus 7’s storage got bumped to 16GB and 32GB, and Google release a 3G variant of the device as well. This could increase Asus’ already growing market share.
- Microsoft launched Windows 8, flooding the market with a wide variety of tablet form factors including its own Surface RT.
Most of these forces would work against each other, and it’ll be interesting to see which ones dominate.
iPad boxes from Flickr by kennykunie