Research firm IDC recently released its Q4 2011 report on tablet shipments where Apple continues to lead the market with 54.7% of global market share, despite this number being down from 61.5% from the previous quarter. Apple did end up increasing shipments to 15.4 million units in Q4 (up from 11.1 million in Q3) but experienced a decline in market share due to Amazon’s Kindle Fire and other Android devices from competitors such as Samsung.
The biggest competitor that Apple’s iPad faces is Amazon’s Kindle Fire with a 16.8% share of the tablet market and 4.7 million units shipped during Q4. Samsung follows with 5.8% of the market (up from 5.5% in Q3). The folks over at IDC noted that Apple’s results for the quarter represented an increase of 110.5% from the fourth quarter of 2010.
As far as the battle between Android and iOS, IDC expects Android to overtake iOS for the global market share by 2015, noting that Andorid currently has 44.6% of the market as of Q4 2011. This result comes in after they saw a decrease for the iOS platform, which eel from 61.6% to 54.7% during the quarter. It should be noted that IDC’s reports account for tablet shipments and not actual sales. Apple typically sells as many new devices as it can make and the sme can’t be said for Android devices for sure. Tom Mainelli, the research director at IDC’s Mobile Connected Devices said the following regarding the report:
Amazon’s widely-reported entry into the media tablet market with a $199, 7-inch product seemed to raise consumers’ awareness of the category worldwide despite the fact that the Fire shipped almost exclusively in the U.S. in the fourth quarter. As a result, products across the pricing spectrum sold well, including everything from Apple’s premium-priced iPads (which start at $499) to Pandigital’s line of Android-based, entry-level tablets (which start at $120). The success of market leader Apple was particularly noteworthy, as the company’s shipment total for the quarter represents an increase of 110.5% from 4Q10.
Source: IDC (Press Release)