Apple’s iPad Continues To Bleed Market Share, While Samsung and ASUS Make Gains

The latest tablet numbers from the IDC should erase any doubt, if there was any, that tablets are a hot item right now. The market grew 75.3% year-over-year in Q4 2012, and beat expectations with 52.5 millions units shipped in the final quarter of the year alone. However, for as hot as Apple’s iPad once was (and mostly still is), the competition is gaining ground, and fast.

Apple still has a firm grip on the top spot in the tablet market at 43.6%, but that number is down--way down--from a year ago, when it held more than half of all tablet market share at 51.7%. At the same time, Samsung saw its tablet market share explode from 7.3% to 15.1%, representing a 236% increase in year-over-year shipments in Q4. For as incredible as Samsung’s growth is, however, ASUS’ is staggering; the company saw 402.3% growth, from about 600,000 units to 3.1 million, thanks largely to sales of the Google Nexus tablet, and it now holds 5.8% market share.


Of the top five vendors, only Barnes & Noble lost ground, seeing its shipments decline from 1.4 million to 1 million.

Notably absent from the top five is Microsoft, which has thus far failed to ignite passion in potential customers. “There is no question that Microsoft is in this tablet race to compete for the long haul,” said Ryan Reith, program manager, Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. “However, devices based upon its new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company's Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best.”