Apple tablet share hit low point ahead of iPad refresh
New York: Apple`s share of the tablet market fell to its lowest point on record in the third quarter, ahead of the launch of its new iPads, a survey showed Thursday.
Research firm IDC`s survey said Apple`s market share slid to 29.6 percent, its lowest share since it fueled the tablet craze with its first iPads.
Worldwide tablet shipments grew 36.7 percent from a year ago to 47.6 million units in the third quarter. That was seven percent higher than the second quarter, lower than IDC`s forecasts.
Apple sold 14.1 million in the quarter, little changed from a year ago, in part due to its decision to move its product launch to the fourth quarter.
But IDC said the new iPad Air shipping November 1 and refreshed iPad mini should help the California group regain momentum.
"Apple is taking steps to appeal to multiple segments," said IDC`s Jitesh Ubrani.
"While some undoubtedly hoped for more aggressive pricing from Apple, the current prices clearly reflect Apple`s ongoing strategy to maintain its premium status. It`s worth noting that Apple wasn`t the only one to increase the price of its small-sized tablet during this product cycle: Both Google and Amazon increased the price of their newest seven-inch tablets."
Samsung held the number-two spot with shipments of about 9.7 million units, IDC said, for a market share of 20.4 percent.
Taiwan`s Asus, which makes the Nexus 7 for Google, grabbed 7.4 percent of the market with 3.5 million units, and China`s Lenovo was fourth with a 4.8 percent share and 2.3 million units.
Over one-third of the market was held by other vendors including Amazon, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, along with lesser-known, so-called white box vendors that typically sell Android devices at low prices.
"White box tablet shipments continue to constitute a fairly large percentage of the Android devices shipped into the market," said IDC`s Tom Mainelli.
"However, many use cheap parts and non Google-approved versions of Android that can result in an unsatisfactory customer experience, limited usage, and very little engagement with the ecosystem. Android`s growth in tablets has been stunning to watch, but shipments alone won`t guarantee long-term success."