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Sales of tablets overall, and the iPad in particular, have hit a plateau over the past year. Indeed, Apple saw sales of the iPad actually decline in the most recent quarter, despite it being a holiday season.

But if there’s good new for Apple in all of this gloom, it’s this: 43 percent of the tablets currently owned are iPads, according to report released today by Verto Analytics, a firm that measures multi-screen adoption and usage.

The next closest competitor is Samsung, with 15 percent. Otherwise, Apple still pretty much dominates when it comes to tablets in use.

Why does that matter?

In recent quarters, Apple chief executive Tim Cook has emphasized that about half of all iPads are sold to new users. That means while quarter to quarters may be flat or slowing, the overall universe of iPads in use continues to grow.

The problem, as Cook said in the last earnings call, is that lifecycle for iPads are longer than many had assumed initially. It’s not that people don’t love their iPads. They do. They just last longer than, say, a smartphone. And new versions don’t offer such huge improvements that users rush out to upgrade.

Of course, as the universe of iPad users grows, that’s more people downloading apps, perhaps the fastest growing parts of Apple’s business (though still quite a bit smaller than device sales).

And finally, people who buy one Apple device tend to buy more. As the Verto report points out: “Apple users are very loyal to the platform, Android users to a lesser extent.”


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