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Mobile Computing | Research

iPad Suffers Significant Decline as Android Strengthens Tablet Position

Apple held onto the No. 1 slot among all tablet manufacturers worldwide, but its share continued to slip in the second quarter of 2013 as Samsung, ASUS, Lenovo, and Acer all saw triple-digit gains.

Apple Dominates Top 5 Despite Decreasing Shipments
According to market research firm IDC, for the three-month period ended June 30, 2013, Apple's unit shipments dropped to 14.6 million tablets, off 14.1 percent from the same period last year. The company's market share plummeted more severely over the same period, from 60.3 percent in 2Q 2012 to 32.4 percent in 2Q 2013. Nevertheless, Apple shipped more tablets than the rest of the top-5 manufacturers combined.

IDC blamed the lack of new iPad models for Apple's reduced sales. "A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors," said Tom Mainelli, IDC's research director for tablet, in a statement released to coincide with the report. "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."

In the same period, Samsung, which currently dominates the smart phone market, grew its tablet unit shipments by 277 percent, more than doubling its market share to 18 percent (from 7.6 percent in the same period last year). The company's unit shipments hit 8.1 million in the quarter.

Second-place ASUS saw a 120 percent increase in unit shipments, reaching 2 million units and capturing 4.5 percent of the worldwide tablet market, up from 3.3 percent in 2Q 2012.

Lenovo inched into fourth place among the top 5 tablet makers on unit shipments of 1.5 million, a 314 percent increase form the same period last year. Its market share grew from 1.3 percent to 3.3 percent.

Meanwhile, No. 5 Acer slipped slightly into the fifth position on shipments of 1.3 million units, a 248 percent increase from last year. It market share grew from 1.4 percent to 3.1 percent.

All other manufacturers shipped 17.5 million units, up 137 percent from the same period last year.

Overall growth in worldwide unit shipments was 59.6 percent, reaching 45.1 million units.

Tablet Operating Systems: Android Increases Lead
During the second quarter, Apple's tablet operating system fell off dramatically against competitors like Google's dominant Android platform, Windows, and Windows RT.

While Apple remained the No. 1 individual tablet manufacturer, its iOS operating system fell to a distant second behind Android. Google's operating system hit a market share of 62.6 percent in the quarter (up from 38 percent in the same period last year) on total tablet unit shipments of 28.2 million, representing a 163 percent increase in unit shipments.

Apple's iOS, of course, lost nearly half its market share over the same period, falling to 32.5 percent on 14.6 million unit shipments. (Apple is the sole manufacturer of iOS-based devices, so the company's market share is identical to the market share for its operating system.)

Microsoft Windows saw a unit shipment increase of 527 percent, reaching 1.8 million and capturing 4 percent of the market.

Microsoft's Windows RT reached about 200,000 units for the quarter, capturing 0.5 percent of the market.

Rounding out the top 5, BlackBerry fell off 32.8 percent, ending the quarter at roughly 100,000 unit shipments and 0.3 percent of the market.

"The tablet market is still evolving and vendors can rise and fall quickly as a result," said Ryan Reith, program manager for IDC's Mobility Tracker programs, in a prepared statement. "Apple aside, the remaining vendors are still very much figuring out which platform strategy will be successful over the long run. To date, Android has been far more successful than the Windows 8 platform. However, Microsoft-fueled products are starting to make notable progress into the market."

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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