Apple continues to rule in the tablet space, though its hold of the market is eroding fast, reports IDC. Apple shipped 22.9 million iPads in the quarter ending December 2012, a period that saw the company launch the iPad Mini as well as a revamped iPad 4. Also, the above mentioned figure marks a 48 percent improvement for the same period a year ago. However, an almost 50 percent improvement in sales could not save Apple’s market share from slipping to 44 percent, down from 52 percent. This also marks the first time Apple’s share of the tablet market to slip below the half way mark.
Quite predictably, the biggest gains here are for Android with manufacturers Samsung and Asus reporting positive growth during the period. Samsung’s shipment figures increased more than three times to 7.9 million, which translated to its market share getting enhanced to 15 percent, up from 7.
However, the same can’t be said of Amazon or B&N, both of whom saw a market share slip. This in spite of Amazon having shipped more Kindle Fires, though there were fewer takers for the B&N Nook line of tablet devices in the fourth quarter.
Microsoft Surface missed out on the top five slot even though it shipped 1.25 million of the Surface RT devices. Actual sales are pegged at a rather dismal 70,000, which is attributed to the tablet’s relatively high price tag.
Surely, things will pan out in a more different manner this year once more Windows 8 based hardware enters the mainstream segment. Apple’s market share is likely to slip even further while Android strengthens its position. Windows 8 is also expected to make some inroads in the mobile devices segment, and it’s likely to become a threat to the competition.