It’s one thing for a single research firm to call out Apple’s quickly falling tablet market share, but now another outfit is painting a similarly bleak picture for the iPad.
According to the latest figures from IDC, Apple’s tablet market share fell from 60 percent last year to 32.5 percent this past quarter. Android tablets, meanwhile, skyrocketed from 38 percent to 63 percent. It’s almost as if the two platforms have completely flipped their market presence in a single year. (A few weeks ago Strategy Analytics claimed that Android tablets basically cut Apple’s market share in half.)
Apple was also the only company to see declining tablet sales from last year. The company said it shipped 14.6 million iPads in its most recent earnings report, which was down from the 17 million units it shipped a year ago. Android tablet makers, on the other hand, are seeing their shipments blow up: Samsung’s grew by 277 percent (2.1 million to 8.1 million units), Lenovo by 314 percent, and Acer by 248 percent. Of course, all of those Android tablet makers, aside from Samsung, were also starting from tiny shipment figures a year ago.
In smartphones, Android’s market share has rocketed up to 80 percent, while Apple holds just 14 percent of the worldwide smartphone market.
Apple is coming from the position of creating the modern tablet category, so its market share really had nowhere to go but down as other competitors showed up. It’s still shipping significantly more tablets than any other single company, but the real question is how long will that last. Samsung’s wide variety of tablet models, many of which are cheaper than the iPad Mini, remain Apple’s biggest threat.
After a booming few years of growth, tablet shipments fell worldwide by 9.7 percent compared to last quarter, IDC said. Mostly, I’d attribute that to a complete lack of major tablet announcements, especially new iPad models. Tablet shipments grew 60 percent compared to last year, which isn’t a huge surprise given that practically every gadget company is trying to make a dent in the market.
“A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors,” said IDC tablet research director Tom Mainelli in a statement today. “With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that’s likely to continue into the third quarter. However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market.”
Check out VentureBeat's product data sheets for more in-depth information on tablets.