Mobile Computing | News

Tablet Competition Heats Up: Samsung, Apple Vie for Top Spot

Apple and Samsung accounted for a full 71 percent of tablets shipped in the first quarter of 2014. Apple remained in the top spot for the quarter, though Android as a whole accounted for slightly more than half of all new tablets shipped through March, according to early results released by market research firm ABI Research.

Of the top 3 vendors, only No. 2 Samsung showed positive growth in the quarter, which is typically the softest quarter for tablet sales. Samsung shipped 13 million units, up 10.8 percent from the same quarter in 2013.

"Despite questions remaining about data disclosure in 2010 and 2011, Samsung's release of tablet sales data this past quarter is a good sign for the mobile computing market," said ABI Senior Practice Director Jeff Orr in a statement released to coincide wit the report. "Whether due to its confidence in the economy, its own business, or a combination of reasons, Samsung continues to demonstrate tablet growth as its 2013 retail push in North America and Western Europe pays off."

No. 1 Apple shipped 16.4 million units, down 10.1 percent from the same period last year.

ASUS rounded out the top 3 with 2.1 million units shipped, essentially flat compared with last year at -0.8 percent.

All told, 41.3 million tablets shipped in the first quarter of 2014.

In terms of operating systems, Google's Android held 56.3 percent of the overall market; Apple's iOS held 39.6 percent; and Microsoft's Windows 8 and Windows RT accounted for 4.1 percent of the tablet market. (As previously reported, Microsoft is launching a new 12-inch Windows 8 tablet in the second quarter of this year.) ABI noted that the OS results may fluctuate by up to 3 percent as more vendors report their numbers.

Also worth noting: A full 22 percent of tablets shipped in the first quarter included an integrated 3G/4G model — "the highest penetration seen since the September quarter of 2011," according to ABI.

Further information is available through ABI's Media Tablets, Ultrabooks and eReaders Market Research.


About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at He can now be followed on Twitter at (K-12) or (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at

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