Apple Inc’s share of the market for tablet computers fell to 50 percent in the third quarter as the iPad faced more competition from Android devices such as Samsung Electronic Co’s Galaxy tablets and Google Inc’s Nexus 7.
Apple still had a solid lead and shipped more iPads worldwide than a year earlier, Monday’s study by IDC showed. Apple had no new tablets out in the third quarter and also might have seen sales slow amid expectations of a smaller iPad.
Apple could regain share in the holiday quarter with last Friday’s release of new iPad devices, including the iPad Mini. The company on Monday said that it sold 3 million iPads of all kinds through the weekend, double the 1.5 million iPads sold in the first three days after Apple launched the third-generation iPad in March and cut the price of the iPad 2.
However, the company will face competition from new devices from Amazon.com Inc, Google and others over the next few weeks.
From July to September, Apple shipped 14 million devices, up 26 percent from 11 million a year ago. Its market share fell from 60 percent in the third quarter of last year as the overall tablet market grew by 50 percent to nearly 28 million.
Samsung’s market share grew to 18 percent from about 7 percent, as it more than quadrupled the number of tablets shipped to 5.1 million. The quarter saw the release of the Galaxy Note 10.1.
Amazon was third in the report with its Kindle Fire, which had a 9 percent market share. Amazon did not release a new version until late in the quarter, but it had nothing in the third quarter of last year because the Fire was not released until November that year, after the quarter ended. Amazon managed a 9 percent worldwide share even though the Fire was available only in the US during the third quarter.
No. 4 tablet maker Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), which makes the Nexus 7 for Google, saw its shipments more than triple to 2.4 million. It had a market share of 8.6 percent, up from 3.8 percent.
“Competitors are turning up the pressure on market leader Apple,” said Ryan Reith, a program manager for mobile devices at IDC.
Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) was ranked fifth in the IDC report with 400,000 shipments and 1.4 percent market share.