As the tablet market continues to grow rapidly, Apple’s position in the market appears to be slipping as shipments of tablets powered by Google’s Android operating system overtook the iPad in the second quarter of this year. According to market analysis firm Canalys, Apple still leads in overall tablet sales, moving 14.6 million units last quarter. The total amounts to 42.7% of the 34.2 million tablets shipped overall in the quarter, down significantly from the 71.2% share Apple held the same quarter last year.
Meanwhile, Apple’s chief rival Samsung shipped 7.37 million tablets or 21.6% of worldwide shipments, several times more than it did for the same quarter last year. Amazon, which happens to run a modified version of Android on its Kindle Fire devices, came in third place with 4.5% of shipments, followed by Lenovo and Acer at 4.3 apiece.
The four largest Android and Android-derived vendors end up account for just over one-third of the total tablet market. The remainder of the market is taken up by the 7.7 million tablets shipped by “Other” manufacturers or 22.6% of the market. While Apple lost share, the other manufacturers listed all saw their shares grow year-over-year. Canalys’ study attributes this to the tablet market coming into its own. According to Canalys analyst James Wang:
Tablets are now mainstream products and hardware innovation is increasingly difficult. With branded Android tablets available for less than $150, the PC market has never been so good for consumers, who are voting with their wallets.
Still, Apple’s share of shipments slips overall. Canalys’ report predicts that the Cupertino California company will retain a considerable lead in profitability. Apple will “remain the tablet market’s most profitable vendor for years to come,” based on the report’s findings. The increased competition could force Apple to introduce a lower-cost iPad in the near future in order to compete against rivals. Such a device has already been predicted by many observers, who say a low-cost iPad mini could debut sometime next year. We’ll have to wait and see how Apple reacts to the trends.
Source: Canalys via AppleInsider